Joe Flacco has history of starting fast

September, 2, 2014
9/02/14
8:00
AM ET
History says the Cincinnati Bengals are going to have a tough time beating Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in Sunday's season opener.

Flacco
Since Flacco entered the league in 2008, only one quarterback has won more Week 1 games than Flacco. That's Tom Brady and he's a perfect 6-0.

Flacco is 5-1 in season openers, and he has been unbeatable when he starts the year off at home. He's 4-0 at M&T Bank Stadium with a 100.8 passer rating. Flacco has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 959 yards (an average of 239 yards), throwing eight touchdowns and one interception.

The Bengals know firsthand about Flacco's fast starts to a season. Flacco used a no-huddle attack to rout Cincinnati 44-13 in the 2012 season opener. His first throw was a 52-yard strike to wide receiver Torrey Smith. Flacco finished 21-of-29 for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Flacco's first start came against the Bengals. In 2008, he led the Ravens to a 17-10 win over Cincinnati, beating the Bengals more with his legs than his arm. His 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved to be the difference in the Week 1 victory.

Flacco has brought more than just season-opening wins to the Ravens. He has given them stability.

This is Flacco's seventh consecutive season opener. Before Flacco, Kyle Boller had the most season-opening starts for the Ravens with three. The Ravens had eight quarterbacks start the first 12 openers in team history.

Turnover at quarterback is a frequent occurrence in the NFL. This year, a quarter of the teams will have a different quarterback starting this year's season opener than last year's one.

Flacco is in a select group of quarterbacks in terms of longevity. There are only nine quarterbacks scheduled to make their seventh straight season-opening start since 2008: Flacco, Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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