3 goals for Joe Flacco in 2019 with the Denver Broncos
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3 goals for Joe Flacco in 2019 with the Denver Broncos

Joe Flacco, Broncos, Ravens

The Denver Broncos made one of the biggest splashes of the NFL offseason when they traded for Joe Flacco last week. Flacco will immediately slide in as the starter, and will be playing for an organization with high expectations.

The Broncos have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, and have had one of the league’s most unstable situations at quarterback in that time. They’re hoping Flacco is the answer, which is a risky bet.

Here are three goals he needs to accomplish if he wants to be in Denver long-term.

3. Lead the Broncos back to the playoffs

The Broncos are one of the league’s more storied franchises. When Peyton Manning was the quarterback just a few years ago, the team was a championship contender every year. Since then, they’ve cycled through Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, and Keenum.

The pressure is immense to lead them back to the playoffs and Flacco needs to deliver. It won’t be easy with the Chiefs and Chargers occupying the division, but if Flacco can recapture some of the magic from his early Baltimore days and secure a playoff berth, he’ll cement himself as the Broncos’ quarterback of the future.

2. Push the ball downfield

The most important thing for Flacco is establishing a vertical passing game. Broncos coaches repeatedly grew frustrated with Case Keenum this past season for his unwillingness to challenge defenses down the field. The team wants to be more aggressive and Flacco can’t afford to be apprehensive and settle for check-downs.

1. Stay healthy

Even though the Broncos traded a fourth round pick for Flacco, they aren’t tied to him long-term. They can get out of his contract with relative ease at any time. It’s possible if not probable that the Broncos will also invest a high draft pick in a rookie signal caller.

To avoid losing his grip on the starting job, Joe Flacco needs to stay healthy. A hip injury is what opened the door for Lamar Jackson to become the starter in Baltimore, and by the time Flacco was fully recovered he was relegated to the bench. If Flacco can’t stay healthy, the Broncos will almost certainly move on.