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Joe Flacco ready to play games ‘that matter’

And even thought playing the Raiders actually matters a little more to Broncos fans, the season opener on Monday Night is really just another game, Flacco says.

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San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Season opener.

Prime time.

Division rival.

Does it get any better than that, Broncos Country?

Well, yes it does.

If it ends with a win.

Excuse me…when it ends with a win.

And nobody feels that pressure to win in high-octane circumstances more than the quarterback. But when your quarterback is literally Joe Cool, it’s a little easier to take the cliché “it’s just another game” because he actually might believe it.

“Listen, we’ve only got 16 games. ...Every single game matters. You never know which ones are going to be more important than others, but they’re all very important. You’ve just got to go out and take them one at a time and win them,” he said regarding the importance of the season opener versus any other game.

Look, people.

Flacco has done this rodeo a few times, and he knows as the signal caller you can’t get too high or too low on the first play of the game, the first game of the season, a game against a rival, etc. etc. etc.

“Listen, at the end of the day, you’re going against the people in your division because you want to win your division, but it’s not like a division game counts any more so than any of the other games,” he said. “It may end up working out that way, it may not. That’s why you’ve got to take them just one at a time and see where it takes you.”

Yeah, so listen up, Broncos Country.

It’s just a matter of playing good football. And when there’s a mistake, you fix it on the next play or next series or next game. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It just has to be simple and fast.

Like Joe keeps telling us:

“You keep it simple and you play football. You allow everyone to play fast and that allows them to play physical and do the things that you really need to do to play football,” Flacco said about winning on the road.

“I think some time if you try to get to cute, then you go into an atmosphere that’s already going to maybe lean on making you play a little bit slower than you should and you make that even worse,” he added. “Now you’re not playing as fast and physical and getting off the ball like you should be and that tenth of a second here and there, it builds up and it ends up hurting you.”

This will definitely be key for maneuvering around a Paul Guenther defense. Flacco has gone up against Guenther’s defenses many times, though, having faced him in Cincinnati.

So the veteran quarterback is not coming in unaware.

“On base downs they’re going to do what they do. They’re also going to throw in their pressures and see if you’re ready to handle them,” Flacco said. “They’re going to all-out blitz you once you get down in there or when the critical time comes. When I played him in Cincinnati, they’ve always had a good front that’s been able to get after you a little bit and he’s been able to show you multiple looks to kind of keep you off balance with those. Like I said, we’ve got to play our game and not worry as much about his.”

And like I’ve said...Joe Cool.

Part of his cool demeanor comes from confidence in his offensive coordinator, who despite being a first-time NFL coordinator is very much a student of the game - and it’s worked well with Flacco.

“I think Rich has been great from the very beginning. We’re both obviously new here, but I think we started off on a great foot… I think we’ve been very comfortable with each other,” Flacco said, adding that it’s a great starting point for a “long run here” to be on the same page so early. “When there’s trust between the quarterback and the coordinator, it just makes things so much easier in terms of game planning and knowing what to have in and what not to.”

Of course, the most important piece for Flacco being comfortable during the game will be the offensive line, and he seems confident this line is going to work for him - as well as his running game. Watching them go against the Broncos’ starting defense in practice has no doubt helped that.

“The athleticism they have and the speed that they play with, it can really get defenses moving,” Flacco said. “And with the backs that we have back there, you can get the defense flowing and guys overrunning things, or whatever it might be. Those guys are going to hit the holes fast and make the most yards they can.”

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