Although Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco endured arguably his worst game ever last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, the mistake-filled performance hasn't dented his confidence.
Flacco, who threw five interceptions in the 23-20 loss, struck a resilient tone Wednesday as he prepared for this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.
“It's definitely not easy to throw five interceptions and just be cool with it,” Flacco said. “It was the main reason why we didn't win that football game. You have to live with it and move on.”
Signed to a $120.6 million contract in March, Flacco isn't off to a fast start as he deals with the offseason trade of Anquan Boldin, tight end Dennis Pitta's major hip injury and getting accustomed to a revamped receiver corps.
Flacco has completed just 57.4 percent of his throws for 1,091 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's ranked 27th in the NFL among quarterbacks with a 69.4 passer rating.
Flacco recalled a conversation with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell where he said responsibility for how the offense performs should fall squarely on his shoulders.
“I told Jim, 'As much as it hurts to do that, I don't mind losing a football game like that,'“ Flacco said. “I'm the quarterback of the team. I'm being paid what I'm being paid for a reason. If you can say that we lost a football game because I threw five interceptions, then that's the way it should be.
“I don't have a problem with anybody looking at me and putting losses on me. I feel like that's the way we should be trying to win football games when we need to. More times than not, I believe we're going to win.”
The Ravens ran the football a franchise-low nine times for 24 yards against the Bills. At one point during the second half, Flacco dropped back to pass on 31 consecutive plays with just two runs after halftime.
“If I don’t throw interceptions, then no, it’s probably not excessive,” Flacco said. “We probably throw for 300 yards in the second half, and we probably score three or four touchdowns, and we win the game. I’m not going to sit here and apologize or make up a reason why we shouldn’t have done that.”
Flacco stared down his primary read far too often against the Bills, tried to fit throws into tight areas and had one interception caused by the sixth dropped pass of the season for tight end Ed Dickson. He passed for 347 yards and two touchdowns for a season-low 46.4 rating, but was sacked four times.
The Ravens expect Flacco to turn it around as soon as this week against the Dolphins.
“Joe is resilient,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He's got a certain amount of mental toughness about him, and he's been down this road before. It's not the first time. Joe will always move forward, and we should see his best game this week.”
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun