The Baltimore Sun's Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec talks about how the players and coaches used the bye week to self-evaluate their play on the field. (Kevin Richardson/BSMG)
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been in something of a slump over the past month, missing reads and making errants throws that have sometimes led to interceptions.
Following an encouraging start to this season that included 12 touchdown passes and just three interceptions in the first six games, Flacco has gone backward.
In the past four games, he has thrown five touchdowns and five interceptions and averaged 231 passing yards per game. He's been sacked seven times in those games and watched receivers fail to break tackles for extra yards after the catch. A win over the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 9 was the lone recent game in which he didn't throw an interception.
"Listen, I'm not in the game of evaluating myself," Flacco said Wednesday. "I'll leave that up to [reporters]. Through the next six weeks, we're going to try to incorporate the things that we do well and the things that we need to do more of into our game plan and therefore give us the best chance to go out there and play well. I'm not going to evaluate myself.
"I think this offense has been pretty good. I think we've been pretty consistent for the most part. We would have obviously liked to be a little bit better the last couple of weeks. We have a great opportunity ahead of us, and we just have to keep it going."
Especially compared to last season when he threw a franchise-record and career-high 22 interceptions, Flacco has made progress. With 2,521 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions, he is on pace to finish the season with 4,034 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The Ravens rank 12th in total offense (364.8 yards per game) and are tied for seventh in scoring offense (26.1 points per game). However, a recent lull led offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to acknowledge before the bye week that he might simplify the offense. Kubiak also said that he would study Flacco's turnovers and try to get him more comfortable.
"Just doing the things that we do well," Flacco said when asked what Kubiak's message means to him. "And some of the things that we haven't done as well as we'd probably like to, not do them as much because obviously they're not working for a reason."