Flacco threw a career-high five interceptions. His pick in the final two minutes essentially sealed the 23-20 loss.
Afterwards, Flacco put the loss on his right shoulder.
“We’re definitely going to get better, and we have to get better,” Flacco said. “A lot of that falls on me today just throwing the ball to the wrong team.”
The Bills had a banged-up secondary missing their top four defensive backs. They were thrashed by New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith the week before.
Flacco felt like the Ravens had some opportunities to beat the Bills and their press-man coverage. Buffalo didn’t do anything that surprised Flacco, he said.
The passing offense did at times hit big gains. Flacco finished with 347 passing yards and two touchdowns. He hit passes of 74 yards to
But the interceptions stunted any progress the offense made, and the Ravens’ comeback chances.
“Things were going our way a lot," Flacco said. "Just not when I threw it to [the Bills]."
Flacco saw a lot of pressure throughout the game as the pass protection, which had been a strong point before, had assignment problems and simply got beat at times. Flacco was sacked four times and hit eight more.
The Ravens run game was also not effective at any point, forcing the ball into Flacco’s hands. The sixth-year quarterback didn’t blame the passing game’s problems on the run game, however.
“We probably threw the ball for 200-something yards in the second half,” he said. “So it’s obviously not hard to get the passing game going. If I don’t throw picks, then the passing game probably would have thrown for 300-some and we would have scored a couple touchdowns and maybe won the game.”
The Ravens leaned on Flacco throughout the second half.
“I believe we have a quarterback that can keep you in any game at any time,” Harbaugh said. “When you have five turnovers, that’s going to challenge you.”
Flacco explained what he saw on each interception.
The first came with five minutes, 37 seconds left in the first quarter. Bills cornerback Aaron Williams left his man and came underneath a pass intended for
“The corner fell off. I didn’t see him at all,” Flacco said.
The second came midway through the second quarter. It bounced off tight end
Flacco’s third interception came with the Ravens in the red zone. He was facing pressure up the middle and tried to loft a touchdown pass.
“I had a one-on-one with Torrey in the back of the end zone. I was getting hit, didn’t make a good enough throw,” Flacco said.
The fourth came with 5:01 left in the third quarter. The Ravens were just beyond midfield and trailing by six points. Linebacker Kiko Alonso didn’t follow Smith as he came across the field and
“I didn’t see that guy at all,” he said. “I thought Marlon was going to come underneath and I didn’t see that guy at all.”
The final interception was the back-breaker. It came with 1:04 left and the Ravens in Bills territory. The Ravens needed just a field goal and were facing a third-and-8 when Flacco tried to go over the middle to tight end
“We were just trying to make a play,” Flacco said. “I was just trying to have Dallas come across the safety’s face and stick one in there and keep the chains moving. They made a nice play, nice catch.”
Flacco now has seven interceptions in four games this year. His career-high is 12 interceptions in a season from 2011. Flacco hadn’t thrown any picks the past two games after tossing two in Denver to open the year.
What bothered Flacco the most, he said, was not throwing touchdowns when he had chances to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter Sunday.
“That was the biggest disappointment was not putting the ball in the end zone on at least one of those drives,” he said. “We had so many opportunities, even though we didn’t necessarily deserve so many, and we weren’t able to convert on any.”