The Cleveland Browns clinched a spot in the playoffs last night by taking care of the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Joe Flacco, at the spry young age of 38, may have clinched himself the Comeback Player of the Year Award by continuing to be excellent — throwing for 309 yards and a score to move his record to 4-1. Not bad for a guy who was notoriously doing dad stuff through Halloween.
Anyone who hasn’t reconsidered their preconceived notions about Cleveland’s ceiling can go ahead and do that. Their iron-clad defense has been unmistakable all year and it was only a question of how far the offense could progress without Deshaun Watson (remember him, by the way). Over the course of the past month, Flacco has turned it into something that looks pretty damn real and worthy of getting a postseason test. No one should be surprised if the Browns make some noise and pull a first-round upset. No one should be surprised if they’re playing in the AFC Championship Game. Winning the Super Bowl seems a bit far-fetched but stranger things have happened and Flacco has proven he’s capable.
If he’s scheduled for any more night games, though, he’ll have to make sure to grab a cup of evening coffee to stay awake. That seemed to be his main challenge in the second half as Amazon cameras appeared to catch him dozing off on the bench.
As grandpa used to explain: this isn’t sleeping, it’s resting the eyes. And a good resting of the eyes can look like a nap to the untrained eye when it lasts for more than 20 minutes. Flacco was asked about catching some quick Z’s postgame and chose to joke about it rather than deny it.
This man is getting dangerously close to peak dad. If they slapped a pair of white New Balances on his feet and let him mow the grass during television timeouts he’d get to realize final form on national television. Totally unexpected and tremendously impressive.