NFL opening day: Joe Flacco and Robert Griffin III fail to lead respective teams to win

Championship rules may prevent the passing of the knife if the Ravens had won the game Sixty-three days, three days and 15 minutes. On 3 May 2018, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco carried the Ravens’…

NFL opening day: Joe Flacco and Robert Griffin III fail to lead respective teams to win

Championship rules may prevent the passing of the knife if the Ravens had won the game

Sixty-three days, three days and 15 minutes.

On 3 May 2018, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco carried the Ravens’ flag at opening day celebrations for the annual NFL game between the NFC North and AFC North clubs in Ohio.

Six weeks later, Flacco was in the locker room after suffering a season-ending hip injury – and the Ravens turned to his backup, Robert Griffin III, to lead their last-gasp drive that came up short against the Browns, 33-30.

It’s a story so far from the norm that NFL rules prevent the passing of the ceremonial cutting of the team’s collective belly that goes with the opening of an NFL season.

A rare combination of injuries to two of the division’s top quarterbacks left Flacco’s successor, Carson Wentz, and Griffin, both of whom have injury histories, with the only two healthy choices for the starting role when the new season began on Monday night.

Only three Cleveland quarterbacks – Charlie Frye, Chris Weinke and Charlie Frye – have started for the team on opening day over the past 22 years.

But on Monday, Griffin made the Browns’ opening drive successful before Griffin threw an interception into the hands of cornerback Tramon Williams, one of the NFL’s top defensive players a season ago.

The Browns trailed 27-17 going into the fourth quarter when rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield threw a two-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jarvis Landry.

Mayfield had replaced Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter in what would be his fourth career start. He had never led the Browns to victory, or even scored a touchdown.

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