Flacco Earns AFC Offensive POW

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Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the first such conference honor of his career.

The rookie went 17-of-29 for 248 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, leading the Ravens from 14 points behind in the third quarter to a 37-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns last week.

It was the third consecutive game where Flacco hasn't tossed a pick, extending a streak of 88 consecutive passes without an interception.

Flacco was a key reason the Ravens were able to improve to 5-3, winning the past three contests, under first-time head coach John Harbaugh.

"The No.1 thing for any offensive football player, and especially for the quarterback, is to respect the possession of the football, right?" Harbaugh asked in his weekly Monday press conference. "Sometimes you can do all you can do to do that and still, there's a turnover.

"But for him to accomplish not throwing an interception in the last three games as a young quarterback, it gives us a chance to win."

But, perhaps more importantly, Flacco held on to the football when he was under duress in the Browns game, where he took two sacks.

"The interceptions have been important, but I think he's protecting the ball in the pocket so much better," continued Harbaugh. "When he gets pressure around him, he's tucking that right shoulder, putting the ball where it's supposed to be, and protecting the football like he's supposed to.

"I'm more excited about that maybe than the interceptions."

The 18th-overall draft selection has completed 136 of 220 attempts for 1,464 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season. Flacco's 109.6 passer rating last week was the second-best of his career, behind the 120.2 he posted in Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins.

"Your confidence is always growing," Flacco said after defeating the Browns. "You get more and more experience each week. We are in the hunt but we need to just stack up wins. That is our main focus right now."

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