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John Harbaugh praises Joe Flacco and strides in passing game, but laments lack of runs

"We're just not the type of team that's finding ways to win right now," said Ravens QB Joe Flacco after his team's last-second, 22-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Joe Flacco threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns while completing three-quarters of his passes on Sunday, a passing performance that coach John Harbaugh acknowledged was heartening, but turnovers in the third quarter and a marginalized running game took luster off the Ravens' total offensive performance.

Flacco's 16-yard, second-quarter scramble accounted for all but three of the team's first-half rushing yards, and they ran the ball just four times in the first half. They threw the ball 28 times before halftime of Sunday's 22-20, final-play loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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When asked if the offense was a bit too reliant on Flacco and the passing game, Harbaugh said: "We'd like to run the ball more, no question.

A league spokesman said the Jacksonville Jaguars should have been called for a false start penalty on their final offensive snap, which would have ended the game and given the Ravens a win.

"I think the run game is something to talk about," Harbaugh said. "We're looking at it hard this morning and this afternoon with coaches. Early in the game, we're a block here and a block there away from popping runs. But a block here and a block there don't get it done."

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The Ravens ran 16 times for 70 yards in the second half, good for 4.4 yards per carry, and came close to breaking longer runs several times late in the game, Harbaugh said. Running back Justin Forsett finished with 14 carries for 53 yards, and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry this season.

More first downs in the first half, when Harbaugh said the Ravens had good field position but struggled to move the chains, might have made the offense more balanced. But instead, in that half, they relied on a quarterback who looked locked in.

Flacco's performance, especially with a group of inexperienced and unheralded targets to throw to, was something Harbaugh seemed happy with.

"We threw the ball better," Harbaugh said. "Our passing game made some strides. We protected well, for the most part. I thought Joe made a lot of really good throws. Guys made plays. Kamar Aiken made a number of catches. Three touchdowns – Maxx [Williams], Crockett [Gillmore], [Chris] Givens had some plays there."

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With the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans still to play Monday night, the Ravens dropped to 23rd in the NFL with 98.1 rushing yards per game, while the 263.6 passing yards per game remains 10th-best in the league. Overall, the Ravens' average of 361.7 yards per game ranks 11th in the NFL.

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