Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has seen it happen before. Dwell on an issue too much, and it gets only worse. But he also knows you can't ignore a troubling trend, either.
After watching the Ravens turn the ball over five times the past two weeks, four of them interceptions by quarterback Joe Flacco, Kubiak said taking better care of the ball has been a "big point of emphasis" as the Ravens get ready for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I told [head coach John Harbaugh] this the other day: Sometimes you talk about them so much and they don't go away. Sometimes you have to maybe just not say anything," Kubiak said.
"We've been pretty good at protecting the ball. I think as a team, we have 12, and as an offense, we have 10 of those 12. But five of those turnovers have come in the last two weeks. That's not good. We've got too good of a football team. If we're protecting the ball, I think we're going to play really well. It's something that [quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison] and I and Joe have got to do a better job of, because we have turned it over four times via the air in the last two weeks."
Flacco's four interceptions have come after he threw just three over the first six games. Through eight games last year, Flacco had thrown nine interceptions on his way to a franchise-record 22. He's well behind that pace this year, even after throwing two interceptions in Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I think Joe has played well. It’s like anything else: Everybody can play better,” Kubiak said. “We’ve got to continue to do a better job with Joe — me and Rick — as we continue to grow with him on what he does best and what he’s most comfortable with. … You want that guy as comfortable as you can get him, but we need Joe to play well. We need Joe to play solid, protect the ball and play well for this team to be successful. That’s what we have to continue to work at, because he’s doing his part, he’s doing the work.”
In 13 career regular-season games against the Steelers, Flacco has thrown 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Over their past eight meetings, he has 10 touchdown passes and just one interception.