Joseph Vincent Flacco (born January 16, 1985 in Audubon, New Jersey) is the starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. He played college football for the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Delaware. He was the first-round draft pick by the Ravens, 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.
In his rookie year, he threw for 2,971 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions while starting all 16 regular season games to become only the eighth rookie quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game. By leading the Ravens to two road wins in the 2008-09 NFL Playoffs, he became the first rookie quarterback in league history to win two playoff games.
In 2003, Flacco was redshirted as a freshman for a team that went 8-5.
In 2004, he was the back-up quarterback finding limited playing time behind starter Tyler Palko. He only saw action in three games against Ohio University, University of Nebraska, and the University of South Florida. He finished the season with one completion for 11 yards.
After the 2004 season, Flacco transferred to the University of Delaware. He was unable to get a release from his scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh, so he was ruled ineligible for action or a scholarship in Delaware’s 2005 season.
Flacco saw his first full-time action during the 2006 season. He put up good numbers for the Fightin’ Blue Hens with nearly 3,000 yards, and 18 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Delaware struggled to a 5–6 record, missing the playoffs.
In the 2007 season, Flacco led his team to an 8–3 regular season record while compiling over 3,300 yards, 18 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. He was considered one of college football’s most accurate passers in 2007. Arguably his best game came against Division 1-A Navy where he threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns. Flacco showed another solid performance in the first-ever meeting against the Delaware State Hornets in the first round of the playoffs. Behind Omar Cuff‘s record-setting day, Flacco threw efficiently for 189 yards and a touchdown, leading the Blue Hens to an easy 44–7 victory. Flacco continued Delaware’s playoff run by upsetting the Northern Iowa Panthers 39–27 in the FCS quarterfinals and upsetting the Southern Illinois Salukis 20–17 the next weekend in the semifinals. Flacco threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns against both the Panthers and Salukis, but went on to lose in the championship game to the Appalachian State Mountaineers 49–21.
Flacco set 20 school records during his career at Delaware.
In early September 2009, a 20- by 30-foot poster of Flacco was added to the facade of Delaware Stadium. 
Professional career2008 NFL Draft
With a solid showing at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, Flacco solidified himself as a top five quarterback in the 2008 NFL Draft. Most experts agreed that he would be off the board before the end of the second round. Flacco also won the long distance throw competition in ESPN’s State Farm College Football All-Star Challenge with a 74 yard throw. He beat out Matt Ryan, Colt Brennan, Chad Henne, and John David Booty, then won the Taco Bell Quarterback Scramble with a time of 15.72 seconds. In addition, he scored a 27 on the Wonderlic exam.
Flacco was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, becoming the highest drafted player ever from the University of Delaware. He was also the first Division FCS quarterback selected in the first round of the draft since Steve McNair went third overall to the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft.
On July 16, he signed a five-year contract with a maximum value of around $30 million and $8.75 million guaranteed.
Due to a season-ending injury to incumbent starter Kyle Boller and an illness to former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Flacco became the starting quarterback in the 2008 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Flacco completed 15 of 29 passes for 129 yards, his longest pass being a 15-yard play to Derrick Mason. He threw no touchdowns and no interceptions in his debut, but he had a 38-yard rushing touchdown, which was the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in Ravens’ franchise history. Flacco’s touchdown put the Ravens up 17–3 and eventually won the game 17–10.
In a week 4 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Flacco played his first road game, his first Monday Night Football game and also threw his first professional touchdown pass on a three yard corner to tight end Daniel Wilcox.
In a week 7 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Flacco earned his first career road victory, throwing for over 230 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Through week 7, Flacco also maintained a completion percentage of 64.2, the tenth best in the NFL.
In a week 8 win over the Oakland Raiders, Flacco not only passed for a touchdown but also ran for one. Flacco also caught a 43 yard pass in a trick formation deemed the “Wildcat.” Many analysts viewed this and the last game as the potential launching point into a career of success. After the week 8 win, head coach John Harbaugh announced that the “Suggs package,” a two quarterback offense using Flacco and Troy Smith, would be part of the offense the rest of the season.
In a week 13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, for the Ravens’ sixth win in their previous seven games. In that seven game stretch, he compiled a passer rating of 99.1, the best of any quarterbacks in that span.
In a week 16 win over the Dallas Cowboys, he was 17-for-25 throwing 149 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 96.9. In winning the game, he became the last quarterback to win at Texas Stadium as this was the last game ever played at Texas Stadium. This would also make him the second rookie quarterback ever to win at Texas Stadium, behind Ben Roethlisberger.
In week 17, Flacco had a new personal best, 297 yards. He was 17-of-23 for a quarterback rating of 115.8 as the Baltimore Ravens routed the Jacksonville Jaguars 27–7.
In his first season, Flacco was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, NFL Rookie of the week, the NFLPA Rookie of the week, and NFL Rookie of the Month for November.
In the wild card round of the 2008–09 NFL playoffs, Flacco became only the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first post-season start, and the first to do it on the road, when his Ravens defeated the Dolphins, 27–9. Flacco completed 9-of-23 attempted passes, accumulating 135 yards without throwing a touchdown or interception. He also scored the victory-sealing rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw in the 4th quarter. Shaun King and Ben Roethlisberger were previously the only other rookie quarterbacks to ever win their debut playoff game.
He then won his second game versus the Tennessee Titans. Flacco led the Ravens to a 13–10 win in the divisional playoff round. Flacco made tight-window throws to Todd Heap and Mark Clayton on the go ahead scoring drive in the 4th quarter to set up a game winning field goal from Matt Stover. On the day Flacco was 11-of-22 for 148 yards and a touchdown, without turning the ball over for the second straight game. He is the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games.
Flacco made 13 of 30 pass attempts for 141 yards passing, was sacked three times, and intercepted three times in the 2009 AFC Championship Game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Flacco was awarded as the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year on January 29, 2009.
In the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Flacco led the Ravens to their first win of the season, and their first home win of the season. He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs. He also threw one interception and had a quarterback rating of 95.8. During this game, the Ravens broke the franchise record for most offensive yards in a game with a total of 501.
In week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, Flacco threw for a career-high 342 yards and accumulated a quarterback rating of 111.8 He also threw for one touchdown.
He then surpassed his own career high of 342 in week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings, with 385 passing yards, though Baltimore lost the game by two points.
In week 15 against the Chicago Bears, Flacco broke his personal record for most touchdowns thrown in a game with four, while notching 234 passing yards and completing 72 percent of his passes, earning him a career-high passer rating of 135.6. The Ravens would go on to win the game 31-7.
With 3,613 yards and 21 touchdowns, Flacco became the first Ravens quarterback since Vinny Testaverde to throw for over 3,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns in a single season.
In the 2009 playoffs, the Ravens shocked the Patriots 33-14 in Massachusetts in the Wild Card round, but that was largely due to the running game, as Flacco went 4-10 for just 34 yards and one interception. The following week against the Colts, the Ravens lost 20-3 in Indianapolis. Flacco had a better game, as he went 20-35 for 189 yards, but he threw two interceptions.