2. This time, Joe Flacco was part of the problem

Flacco started with two errant throws on the Ravens' opening possession. On the second miss, he had Jacoby Jones open for a first down but threw two steps behind him. As the first half progressed, he missed several short throws on which he failed to set his feet. Late in the second quarter, Flacco targeted a streaking Jones but so badly underthrew him that Jones had to fight three defenders for a jump ball. Browns cornerback Joe Haden snared it for an interception. Flacco has avoided serious criticism this season, in part because of the afterglow from last year's playoffs, in part because he's coped with an inexperienced receiving corps and significant changes on the offensive line. As usual, he kept throwing aggressively after his early struggles in Cleveland. He eventually produced some big plays. These are the same flaws and same virtues we've seen from Flacco for six seasons. I never thought his playoff success would magically wipe away his propensity to play a few clunkers per season. But the Ravens needed him to play up to his franchise quarterback contract against the Browns. Bottom line: He wasn't good enough often enough.
Rick Osentoski, USA Today Sports
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