Crockett Gillmore, Joe Flacco Break Down Final Interception


It was like déjà vu of the Week 1 ending in Denver, and not too dissimilar from other endings to Ravens games this season.

The Ravens were marching down the field with a chance to tie the game on Monday Night Football in Arizona.

Quarterback Joe Flacco lofted a jump ball to his big-bodied tight end, Crockett Gillmore, and instead of the Raven making the catch, it was intercepted for a crushing end to the game.

For the third time this season, Flacco's final pass has been picked off. In every single one of the Ravens' six losses, the offense has had a chance to win, tie or put away a game at the end and failed to do so.

After Monday night's 26-18 loss, Flacco was asked if it's especially frustrating losing so many close games.

"Well, yeah," he said. "It is just where we are."

With 13 seconds left, the Ravens sat on Arizona's 9-yard line. Gillmore had already made a 23-yard leaping catch over Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson earlier on the drive, aided by the fact that Gillmore is seven inches taller and about 50 pounds bulkier.

With Arizona showing an all-out blitz, Flacco knew he'd have another one-on-one shot with Gillmore matched up on Jefferson.

Flacco faded back away from the pressure and lobbed the ball up to his gigantic tight end – just as he did in Denver – and once again it was picked. This time, Gillmore never even got a hand on the football.

"When the ball is in the air – I've said it before – it's mine," Gillmore said. "There's really no excuse. The team is relying on me to make that play and [Jefferson] made a play."

So how did Jefferson get in such good position?

First, he backed away from the line of scrimmage at the last second, not allowing Gillmore to get over top of him. Flacco said he saw Jefferson back away but still liked the matchup. Flacco didn't want to throw it short of the end zone and risk the clock running out.

"I thought [GIllmore] might get on top of the guy and it just worked out a little different, so [Jefferson] ended up with better position," Flacco said. "I thought he was a big guy on a little guy and I'd give him a chance."

Gillmore said he didn't change his route after seeing Jefferson back away, but added that he could have run it better.

Jefferson also affected Gillmore's ability to high-point the pass* *by giving the tight end a clear push in the back as the ball was in the air. The referees did not throw a flag, however.

"It's just part of the game," Gillmore said. "Everybody's fighting for the ball. In that situation, you're not going to get a call. Like I said, I've got to go up and make that play."

Gillmore has had a breakout season with 18 catches for 234 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens' starting tight end. But he's now been on the wrong end of two key plays in the end zone.

It seems as if opponents know the Ravens want to target him in that area.

"There are certain IDs that they have," Gillmore said. "Really, it doesn't matter. The ball's in the air, it's mine. I've got to make that play."

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