Ravens

Quick Links

Flacco shoulders blame for Ravens' 3-game slide

201212161347496421569-p2.jpeg

Flacco shoulders blame for Ravens' 3-game slide

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Joe Flacco has fumbled three times and thrown three interceptions in his last three games, each of which the Baltimore Ravens have lost.

Flacco understands that an NFL quarterback often receives an inordinate amount of criticism in defeat and perhaps too much credit for a victory. In this case, however, he accepts full responsibility for Baltimore's longest skid since 2009.

``All of it,'' Flacco said Wednesday. ``It starts with the quarterback.''

It's tough to argue. Flacco's fumble set up the tying score in a loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 2. A fumble and an interception in the third quarter led to two Washington field goals in an overtime defeat on Dec. 9, and last Sunday he had two first-half turnovers in a 34-17 drubbing by Denver.

Flacco can only hope the lasting image of his 2012 season isn't the one of him lying face down on the turf following his futile chase of Chris Harris, who went 98 yards with an interception to put the Broncos up 17-0 at halftime.

Flacco laying prone on the goal line, agonizing over his critical mistake, typified a season that has turned decidedly flat.

If the Ravens (9-5) are to pull out of their tailspin and make some noise in the postseason, Flacco will have to right himself in a hurry. He's got no doubt it's going to happen, starting this Sunday at home against the defending world champion New York Giants (8-6). Baltimore can clinch its second straight AFC North title with a win.

``I'm confident. Our team is confident,'' he said. ``These are tough situations, but it's about how you stand up. You can't blink. I don't know if we've necessarily been in this kind of situation in the past, but we've dealt with things that are similar and we know how to move forward and push through.''

Since taking over the starting job out of training camp in his rookie season, Flacco has endured only two three-game losing streaks. So this is rather unusual territory for the Ravens career leader in yards passing, touchdown passes and completion percentage.

``I hope we go out there and play fast, physical and smart and I hope we win football games,'' he said. ``I don't hope. I know that's what we're going to do. It's what we've done here.''

In spite of his recent struggle, Flacco deserves credit for helping the Ravens reach the playoffs in five straight seasons. Flacco is the only quarterback in NFL history to reach the postseason in each of his first four years, and now he's 5 for 5.

``I'm pretty proud of it, but it's not something that I or we think about on a regular basis,'' he said.

Flacco may not be among the elite NFL quarterbacks, but he's earned respect from his teammates and the opposition.

``He's a confident player, tough as nails,'' Baltimore offensive tackle Michael Oher said.

``I see a good young quarterback who's growing in the system that John (Harbaugh) and his staff developed in Baltimore,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ``And he seems to be getting better all the time.''

Flacco has never been to the Super Bowl, but he has twice taken Baltimore to the AFC title game. Last year, he nearly engineered an upset of the New England Patriots in the conference championship but was undone by a dropped pass and a botched field-goal try.

``He makes a lot of plays and has turned into a guy who's a good leader,'' said Giants quarterback Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner. ``Last year he was right there, a play away from making the Super Bowl.''

It's impossible to determine how this season will end, but at this juncture the Ravens don't look the part of a Super Bowl contender. Not yet, anyway.

Flacco's struggle against Pittsburgh and Washington played a role in Harbaugh's decision last week to dump offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Now it's up to Flacco to make the quick adjustment to Jim Caldwell, who called the plays against Denver.

``We've had to go through a lot of adversity this year, and Joe being Joe, he's responded to it really well,'' Ravens running back Ray Rice said. ``It's not easy going through a change this late in the season, but the way he's handled it, he's still Joe. This week gives us a great opportunity to bounce back. Everything that we want is still in front of us. Quarterback is the toughest position in the game, and I just think with that amount of pressure he's handled it really well. Joe is still a great quarterback. He's our quarterback, and we're going to defend him to the end.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson organizes private workout with receivers

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson organizes private workout with receivers

With training camp just nine days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Quarterback Lamar Jackson organized an off-site work out with Ravens wide receivers Chris Moore and Willie Snead IV over the weekend. The second-year quarterback followed through with his plan of working with his receivers on his own time before training camp begins next week. Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III was present as well.

2. With the addition of six-time Pro Bowler Earl Thomasthe Ravens secondary was ranked the deepest group in the NFL, according to NFL.com's Chris Wesseling. Pairing Thomas with safety Tony Jefferson creates one of the best safety tandems in the league, and Baltimore has a deep group of cornerbacks in Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, and Tavon Young. The Ravens defense allowed just 17.9 points per game a season ago, which was the second-best mark in the NFL.

3. Ravens Training Camp passes are now available. The Ravens have 14 different training camp practices open to the public this season. Claim your tickets and parking pass here or on the Ravens' mobile app.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ravens rookie Trace McSorely is using the offseason to sharpen his coaching skills

Ravens rookie Trace McSorely is using the offseason to sharpen his coaching skills

Baltimore Ravens rookie Quarterback, Trace McSorley, acted as a guest coach with ProCamps Worldwide and the Quantico Defense Agency to host a mobile football camp for Department of Defense children, grades one through eight. 

The focus of the camp was to give back to the children of service members who may not see their parents for long stretches of time due to deployments and exercises.  

"It's a lot of fun being out here with these kids," McSorley said. "It's really cool to see all of these kids enjoying it and being out here for the love of the game."

The camp was held at Butler Stadium on the Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia.

McSorley, 23, visited multiple stations around the stadium to offer coaching and pointers to young athletes, while also assisting other volunteer coaches in running drills, and ensuring the kids were having fun while being safe.

WATCH: Trace McSorley 'I Am the Prospect:' Part 1

"When I was younger there were camps in my area that I went to and I got to meet guys like Ricky Ervins, D.J. Dozier, Shawn Springs," McSorley said.

"For me as a kid, seeing those guys giving back to the community really kind of gave me something to work towards. You're close to it so you start to see yourself at that level, and set goals for yourself."

Colonel William Bentley III, commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Quantico, believed the camp to be a success and hopes it returns to Quantico next year.

“We have a lot of great things going on for the kids.” Bentley III said. 

"Trace McSorley you've been outstanding and we appreciate you coming out and thanks for being here.”

Heading into camp McSorley has been focused on proving himself "every single day," and "absorbing as much information as he can." 

Although he won't be starting game one of the season, he's well aware of how important it is to watch those ahead of him before it's his time to shine. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: