Less than a year removed from fumbling the football a career-worst 11 times, Joe Flacco has fallen into the bad habit again.
The Ravens quarterback has coughed up the ball just seven times this season, but five have occurred in his last four contests. He was sacked and stripped of the ball in back-to-back losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. Pittsburgh converted that turnover into a game-tying touchdown and Washington parlayed the takeaway into a field goal.
After John Harbaugh said Monday that Flacco had to improve his pocket awareness and improve his ball security, Flacco agreed with his coach during his weekly session with the media Wednesday.
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“Yeah, that does have to be better,” he said. “Anytime you lose the ball in the pocket, you look at yourself and see what you have to do. Those guys made good plays, but you have to hold onto the ball.”
The task doesn’t figure to get any easier this Sunday when the Denver Broncos pay a visit to M&T Bank Stadium. Led by outside linebacker Von Miller’s 16 sacks, Denver trails only the Cincinnati Bengals for the most sacks in the NFL with 39. (Cincinnati has 42.)
“They obviously get after the quarterback,” Ravens center Matt Birk said. “If you are talking about Joe’s pocket awareness and ball security, you talk to the O-line. Obviously, we know what our ultimate goal is. If we don’t achieve our ultimate goal, then we are all disappointed. That’s what we’re striving for, and that’s clearly communicated to us.”