Joe Flacco Wants To Cut Down On Turnovers


Joe Flacco's solution to his early-season interceptions problem is simple enough.

"Stop throwing to the other team," he said Wednesday.

Flacco already has five interceptions and three fumbles (one lost) on his stat line. Six turnovers are half as many as he had all of last season and he's only a quarter of the way through the year.

He has thrown at least one interception in each game so far, a trend that he wants to stop. Flacco has never thrown a pick in six straight games.

Flacco opened the year with a crushing pick-six against the Broncos, courtesy of cornerback Aqib Talib, and an end zone interception on a final game-winning lob attempt intended for tight end Crockett Gillmore.

The eight-year veteran was picked off on his last pass in Oakland in Week 2, then intercepted by Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones in the flats in Week 3. Flacco said he never saw Jones.

Last Thursday in Pittsburgh, the Steelers schemed up an interception and Flacco fell right into it. The pass hit Pittsburgh's Ross Cockrell right between his jersey numbers. A chase down by right tackle Rick Wagner was the only thing that prevented another pick-six.

So how does Flacco truly fix the issue?

"It's pretty easy – just see the guy, see the throw, make it confidently," Flacco said. "That's the biggest thing on the last couple is just see the throw, make sure you see everybody before you pull the trigger."

Flacco is always confident, but he's going to have to be careful not to try to do too much while his receiving corps is on the mend.

In 2013, when Flacco was also short on weapons, he threw a career-high 22 interceptions and posted a career-low 73.1 quarterback rating. It's the only year the Ravens have missed the playoffs during the Flacco-Head Coach John Harbaugh era.

In his six other seasons, Flacco never had more than 12 interceptions. Now he's on pace for 20.

Flacco also had a fumbling problem pop up last week in Pittsburgh. He fumbled three times. The one he lost resulted in a Steelers touchdown and another broke up a promising drive and forced the Ravens to instead settle for a field goal.

Flacco had just five cough-ups last year and didn't lose any. He has steadily decreased his fumbles since 2011, when he put the ball on the turf a career-high 11 times and lost six.

Two of the fumbles in Pittsburgh came on mishandled snaps, which Flacco said are "very easily fixed." The other, which was recovered by Cockrell, came when he was stripped on a scramble outside.

"The one out of the pocket, you have to protect the ball, and you have to make sure that doesn't happen," Flacco said. "I haven't done a bad job of that in the past, but at any time it could jump up and bite you and lose a game for you. I have to make sure I take better care of the football."

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