When Joe Flacco opened his post-game press conference Sunday, he started by pointing to his own "stupid" miscues. The Ravens quarterback threw a pair of interceptions in the 25-20 loss to the 49ers, and took ownership of the costly errors.
"It starts with me just not making those mistakes," Flacco said. "We can't afford to do that right now. We have to go play fundamental football and take care of the football."
Flacco finished the game with 343 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens put the game on his right arm in the second half.
But his two interceptions overshadowed everything else.
Both turnovers led to points for San Francisco, and they halted Baltimore drives on a day when the Ravens needed to take advantage of every time they had the football.
"I didn't play smart," Flacco said. "We didn't make a few plays here and there that could have [gotten] us going. They really put us in a hole and [we] weren't able to quite climb out of it."
The interception that stood out the most was Flacco's second, which came on Baltimore's opening drive of the second half. The interception was on first down and was one of the worst Flacco has thrown in his eight-year career.
The Ravens were at San Francisco's 41-yard line on the play, and the 49ers brought pressure that pushed Flacco outside. He escaped the defender and then heaved a pass over the middle of the field that wasn't within 10 yards of a Ravens player. 49ers safety Kenneth Acker easily made the interception and then returned it 46 yards.
"We were looking to hit a shot over the top," Flacco said. "I pulled up and was trying to buy time and make a play, and it got to the point where I didn't see anyone open, so I was just trying to throw the ball away. I didn't think anyone was on that side of the field. I didn't even look. I was just trying to throw the ball away, and it was obviously a really, really dumb throw."
The first interception was a pass over the middle intended for receiver Kamar Aiken in the first half. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite jumped in front of Aiken on the play to come up with the interception.
"I saw [Wilhoite], but I thought I could sneak the ball in there for a first down, and obviously I couldn't," Flacco said.
Both interceptions gave the 49ers possession in Baltimore territory, and San Francisco turned them into six points.
"The [second interception] gave them points and probably took points off the board for us," Flacco said.
The interceptions have been a frustrating trend for Flacco through the Ravens' rough start to the season. He has seven interceptions through the first six games, and the ill-timed turnovers have been particularly costly against the Broncos and 49ers.
Flacco's turnovers are part of the reason the offense has been so up-and-down this season. They have put the defense in tough spots and given the Ravens' little margin for error, and the veteran quarterback knows he has to do a better job to get his team on track in this disappointing 2015 season.
"It's not good when you don't win football games. It doesn't feel good," Flacco said. "It's frustrating, but we just know that we have to get better. That's all we can do, is put our head down and continue to try to win a football game."
Check out the best photos from San Francisco as the Ravens battle the 49ers!