Flacco on Ravens' struggling offense: 'It starts with me'
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) Two games. Two touchdowns. Two losses.
That's how the Baltimore Ravens went from being undefeated to .500, and why they're again in catch-up mode in the AFC North behind their insufferable rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After punching across a meaningless touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 44-7 loss to Jacksonville in London, the Ravens again reached the end zone only once in a 26-9 defeat at home against the Steelers on Sunday.
Baltimore came into the game with the 32nd-ranked offense in the NFL, and quarterback Joe Flacco was very selective in doling out the blame.
"It starts with me," said Flacco, who went 31 for 49 for 235 yards and two interceptions against Pittsburgh (3-1). He was also sacked four times.
Playing in a battle for first place in the division, the Ravens (2-2) fell behind 19-0 after going scoreless in the first half for a second week in a row.
They cut the deficit to 10 points in the third quarter, but would get no closer.
"We got behind, started coming back in the second half and then we turned the ball over," coach John Harbaugh said. "That's pretty much the story of the game."
In London, the Ravens had one first down before halftime and trailed 23-0. In this one, they mustered four first downs over the first 30 minutes and fell behind 19-0.
"It wasn't good. We have to be better off early in games," Flacco said.
The Ravens got a field goal off a turnover in the third quarter, but it should have been more. Flacco missed connecting with a wide-open Breshad Perriman inside the 5, and soon after that Justin Tucker was called upon to rescue the drive with his right foot.
"He was wide open and I tried to put it on him and I threw it too high," Flacco said his throw to Perriman. "That was one of those opportunities we had to make a big play and we didn't do it."
Later in the quarter, Flacco turned a 50-yard run by Alex Collins into a 16-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace.
But that was that for Baltimore's scoring.
"It's been a struggle and I think it comes down to execution," tight end Benjamin Watson said. "It's tough not to get first downs and have the defense have to go back out there."
Pittsburgh had the ball for nearly 11 minutes more than Baltimore.
"Last week was a horrible loss and this week wasn't very good, either," Watson said.
So, what's the solution? Bring different players? Change the scheme?
"Listen, we definitely have the ability to be productive. No matter what anybody thinks, we're all we have right now," Flacco said. "We're going to go out there and we're going to make it happen."
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Updated October 1, 2017