Even After Win, Joe Flacco Frustrated Because Offense Can Be Better 


Baltimore's players and coaches were naturally all smiles after Sunday's impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

The dance from safety Eric Weddle at the start of his press conference summed up the general mood.

But when Joe Flacco stepped to the podium, he was a bit agitated. The veteran quarterback felt like the Ravens offense could have been even better Sunday night, and that the final score should have been more lopsided than the 26-14 result.

"Yeah, I'm frustrated," Flacco said to open his press conference. "I really am."

Flacco was upset that the Ravens let some early opportunities slip from their grasp, which allowed the Steelers to stay in the game and led to a nerve-wracking second half. The Ravens missed opportunities to put up a couple more first-half touchdowns, and the self-inflicted wounds were still gnawing at Flacco after the game.

"I thought there were a couple of drives there at the end of the half where we just shot ourselves in the foot," he said. "We went into halftime and it wasn't a big deal because we were basically still at zero-zero, but I really just felt like we could have had 28, 30, 35 points out there at halftime."

The Ravens opened the game with an eight-play touchdown drive that John Brown capped off with a 33-yard snag. Baltimore then converted a defensive takeaway into a touchdown, and the score was quickly 14-0 before the midway point of the first quarter.

But then the mistakes started.

Flacco just missed wide receiver Michael Crabtree for what would have likely been a long touchdown when Crabtree got wide open on a double move. On Baltimore's next series, the Ravens made their biggest miscue when running back Alex Collins fumbled at the 1-yard line on first-and-goal.

The turnover wiped away what would have likely been a touchdown drive and ended Baltimore's streak of scoring touchdowns on 13-straight red-zone possessions. A false start later in the second quarter knocked the Ravens out of field-goal range.

Instead of having a three-score lead, the Ravens left open the door for Pittsburgh, who tied the game at 14-14 before the half.

"It just felt like we left stuff out there, for sure," Flacco said. "With these guys and the way these guys have been throughout my time here, especially over the course of the last couple years, you just don't want to leave points out there because you know what they're capable of doing."

The Ravens ended up not needing a huge cushion because the defense stepped up in a big way. The unit shut out the Steelers in the second half, while the Ravens tacked on four field goals.

Baltimore never trailed, but Flacco's memory of the previous two trips to Heinz Field was clearly still fresh.

"I wasn't happy that we weren't taking over the game and we were just letting them hang around because I know what they're capable of," Flacco said. "But I still didn't feel bad about where we were. We were still in a good position to go out there and take care of our business. I just thought we could have been better."

As Flacco lamented the mistakes the offense made, he also knew that he was nitpicking. The offense had a strong overall showing, as he completed 28-of-42 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens showed a good display of creativity and big-play ability, and Flacco seemed to laugh at himself as he voiced frustrations after such a significant victory.

"Don't get my frustration confused with not feeling awesome about coming in here and getting a win, for sure," he said with a smile. "I feel great."

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