It was less than a week ago, after a drubbing in London, that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco scoffed at the suggestion that their offense was not playing well. They had scored just seven points in the game, and that came off the arm of Ryan Mallett late in the fourth quarter after Flacco was removed from the blowout loss.
Yesterday, after managing just nine point in another major loss to the Steelers by a 26-9 margin, he was a little more willing to take the blame. “I sucked”, he told reporters after the game. “It wasn’t good”.
Trailing for almost all of the game, the Ravens largely abandoned the run with just 15 carries during the whole game—a 50-yard run a massive outlier—leaving Flacco to drop back to pass 53 times. Four of those drop backs ended with him on the ground, having not thrown a pass.
Most of the other 49 drop backs did not end a whole lot better than that. He completed just 31 of his 49 official pass attempts for 235 yards. He did hit on one touchdowns—his fourth of the season—but he notched another two interceptions to his total.
The Ravens have scored a touchdown on just one of their last 28 drives with Flacco at the helm, and the ‘elite’ quarterback has now thrown at least one interception in 10 consecutive games, the longest streak by a fair margin in the NFL.
He now has thrown six interceptions on the season, and he is averaging just 5.1 yards per pass attempt, which I should not have to point out is terrible. I’m really just surprised that he has not fumbled the ball yet—or actually lost a fumble, because he did fumble yesterday and ended up getting sacked after being unable to secure the snap.
Yet he has only been sacked nine times through four games, which for an offensive line that retains only one starter from a year ago, is actually good protection, and would pace him to be sacked 36 times on the year.
“I wasn’t good enough to get us back in the game”, Flacco said after the Ravens nearly cut the score to a one-possession deficit. While the Steelers’ offense came out in the second half spinning their wheels, Baltimore netted a field goal and then a touchdown off a short field. They looked initially to have successfully completed a two-point conversion, but it was overturned.
That would conclude their scoring for the afternoon though, as the Super Bowl MVP proceeded to throw two interceptions in the fourth quarter, spending that time largely piling up statistics in garbage time, his final two passes broken up in the end zone.
On the Ravens’ final drive, Flacco attempted 15 passes, including a spike, completing 10 of them for 82 yards. That means that prior to that drive, he was 21 of 34 for just 155 yards during the time in which the game remained competitive.