Joe Flacco Falters With The Game On His Injured Shoulder


Sunday's game fell on Joe Flacco's banged-up right shoulder, and it couldn't support the weight.

Operating with a non-existent running game, Flacco threw the ball 44 times and tossed two critical interceptions Sunday at MetLife Stadium in a 24-16 loss to the Jets.

The interceptions led to 10 decisive Jets points – all in the second half – but weren't what bothered Flacco the most. It wasn't his shoulder either, which he said "felt great."

It was just a general ineffectiveness that scratched at his nerves.

"The turnovers hurt, but we didn't do anything," Flacco said. "We never really got to the point where we were threatening to score touchdowns."

Flacco was 15-of-22 for 200 yards at halftime, but went just 10-of-22 for 48 yards after the break.

The Ravens netted just 245 total yards of offense. The unit he leads never got inside the red zone and didn't score a touchdown.

The ground game, which had kept the offense afloat in recent weeks, put up a franchise-low 6 rushing yards against a stout sixth-ranked Jets front. Baltimore ran the ball 12 times on the day, and eventually had to stop banging its head against a wall and put the ball in Flacco's hands.

That didn't end up paying off, as he didn't do much with it either.

Flacco's first interception came when the Ravens were leading by two points midway through the third quarter. On the pass before, he had set a franchise record with 176 consecutive passes without an interception.

But No. 177 was picked off when cornerback Buster Skrine cut underneath a back-shoulder throw intended for wide receiver Breshad Perriman. The Ravens had been attacking Skrine with wide receiver Mike Wallace, but Skrine played press coverage on Perriman instead of off-coverage.

"I made a decision pre-snap to go to the one-on-one on my left, and I really didn't get a good look at it afterwards," Flacco said. "I think he undercut the route and I was throwing a timing, shake route."

The defense held the Jets to a field goal, keeping Baltimore just one point behind. But facing a third-and-10 on the next drive, Flacco made another mistake. This time, his pass sailed high over Perriman's head and into the arms of safety Marcus Gilchrist.

"It wasn't great on anybody's part, and I've got to get better," Flacco said.

Flacco now has six interceptions to five touchdowns this season. He entered the game with a quarterback rating of 78.9 and it will drop after a 54.0 rating Sunday. Jets quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith posted quarterback ratings of 115.2 and 132.8, respectively.

It wasn't just Flacco's interceptions that hurt the passing game. He occasionally faded in the face of pressure and missed too many targets, including wide receiver Chris Moore on a crossing route as the Ravens tried to drive the field for a game-tying score. The final offensive snap was a heave to the sideline intended for Moore that fell incomplete in tight coverage.

Flacco said the mistakes hurt in close games like the Ravens have been playing. But the Ravens wouldn't be in so many close games if they executed offensively.

"The more frustrating part is we can't consistently do things well," Flacco said. "If we were out there playing really good football, we would probably be able to live with a mistake here and a mistake there.

"When you look back at those types of tight games, you look at the penalties and the things you missed, and you kind of forget that we're just not playing good. We're not good right now. That's the biggest thing."

It wasn't a shoulder issue. After he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday due to soreness, Flacco said he felt much better as the week went on.

"I felt good the whole game," he said.

Flacco said it's like his shoulder suffered a "concussion," and it's something he hasn't dealt with since college. He's hoping not to have to play with it the rest of the season, and next week's bye couldn't come at a more needed time.

"I'm going to play it day-by-day, go in there and rehab and strengthen it," Flacco said. "I definitely don't want to mess around with my right shoulder."

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