Ravens Notebook: Flacco throws two interceptions in loss

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: Flacco throws two interceptions in loss

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BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco experienced some of the typical growing pains that go along with being a rookie quarterback as the Baltimore Ravens’ starter threw two costly interceptions in a 13-10 loss Sunday to the undefeated Tennessee Titans.

On both of his turnovers, Flacco rolled out to this right to buy time and stared down his intended target as the most opportunistic defense in the NFL capitalized on the miscues.

His final interception was picked off by cornerback Nick Harper with
1:32 remaining on a pass meant for wide receiver Mark Clayton.

"I think sometimes with young quarterbacks their vision isn’t as wide as you want it to be," coach John Harbaugh said. "He didn’t see some of those coverages, but I am sure he will see it next time.

“Those were two throws that clearly shouldn’t have been made that he would like to have back, but a young quarterback is going to learn from those things."

Flacco completed 18 of 27 passes for 153 yards and no touchdowns for a 50.4 quarterback rating.

The two interceptions were eerily similar, if not identical in terms of the read Flacco made. Both times, he should have probably thrown it away or kept running.

During the first half, another potential Flacco interception by linebacker David Thornton was nullified when an instant-replay challenge determined that he didn’t have control of the football.

"I was running in and out of the pocket and when I get out of there and I don’t have anything, I’ve got to throw the ball away and be smart with it," Flacco said. "I don’t think it was the same play, I just think they were similar plays. In the second one, I ran out, choked the ball down and threw it right to the guy. I should have either got it over him or thrown it out of bounds.

"I’m seeing things just fine. I made a couple bad decisions, and I’ve got to get better at that. I’ve got to realize those guys are going to make plays. Every now and then, you have to just take what they give you. If they don’t give you anything, you’ve got to just throw the ball away, live for the punt and live for the next down."

For the season, Flacco has completed 58.5 percent of his throws (62 of 106) for 603 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions for a 62.0 quarterback rating.

"What are you going to do? Tell the guy not to throw the ball anymore?" wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "He’s trying to make plays. That’s up to the coaches to get Joe and tell him when to throw the ball away and when to make a play and when not to. We’re just out there trying to help him make the play work."

One quarter through the season, Flacco has maintained his composure as he learns on the job. He has been sacked six times.

"I think he is doing a good job," Harbaugh said. "I think he can do a lot better. I think he’ll be the first guy to tell you that. We need him to continue to improve. I’m not sure what the measurable standard is, but I think he is doing well."

INJURY REPORT: Offensive tackle Adam Terry left the game in the second quarter with a sprained knee and was carted off the field. He’s scheduled to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam today to determine the severity of the injury.

He was replaced at right tackle by veteran Willie Anderson, a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

is considered likely to start at least next week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, if not longer.

"When Adam gets back healthy, and we’re hoping he can get back next week, it’s still his job,"

said. "He has been playing great all year, and my job is to support him. I’m quite sure he’ll do everything he can to get back in the starting lineup."

"He was upbeat, and I expect him to get back in there. As soon as he gets healthy, he’ll be back in the starting lineup."

Cornerback Fabian Washington, who was subbing for starter Samari Rolle after his recent neck surgery, injured his shoulder in the second half and didn’t return. He will undergo an MRI, too.

"It’s very painful,"

said. "It just popped out of place. That’s the first time it happened in a while."

When asked if he thought he would be out for next week’s game against,

replied: "I hope not, I hope not."

Mason injured his thumb and tight end Daniel Wilcox hurt his hand. Both players will be examined today, but aren’t believed to be serious injuries.

Running back Willis McGahee played the entire game despite bruised ribs, rushing for 64 yards on 22 carries.

"One of my goals was to get through all four quarters, but I didn’t get 100 yards like I wanted to and we didn’t get the win," McGahee said. "I was hurting out there, but I look at the other guys and I just keep on going."

: The Titans entered Sunday’s game with the eighth-best running game in the league, averaging 137 yards per game. Against the NFL’s second-ranked rush defense,

never got anything going on the ground.

The Ravens held the Titans to just 47 yards rushing on 22 attempts, a puny average of 2.1 yards per carry.

’s star rookie Chris Johnson was limited to 44 yards by the Ravens, who are allowing only 64 rushing yards per game.

They haven’t allowed any runner to eclipse 100 yards since

Kansas City
’s Larry Johnson on
Dec. 10, 2006, a league-best span of 23 games.

HEAP OF CATCHES: After being held without a catch for just the second time as an active player since his rookie year, Todd Heap had his best game of the season on Sunday.
Heap had four receptions for 41 yards against

, hauling in two important catches during the Ravens’ final drive of the first half to help get them into range for a field goal that Matt Stover missed.

Heap is the Ravens’ all-time leader in with 346 receptions, but 339 of those came under former coach Brian Billick. He has been used primarily as a blocker under Harbaugh and caught just three passes for 37 yards in the Ravens’ first three games.

ROUGH PLAY: There were several skirmishes in this fierce rivalry that dates back to the defunct AFC Central, including six unsportsmanlike conduct penalties or unnecessary roughness calls. 

Clayton took a blow to the face from Titans safety Chris Hope in the first quarter, drawing a flag.

Prior to kickoff, Titans coach Jeff Fisher told his players that he hated the Ravens. Fisher had a long-running feud with Billick.

"We just looked at it as a tough opponent, an opportunity for our defense to measure up against their defense and play that way," linebacker Bart Scott said. "But for them, it may have been different because of the bad blood between Jeff Fisher and Billick. I’m assuming they had a different mindset preparing for the game."

QUICK HITS: The Ravens deactivated quarterback Troy Smith, Rolle (neck), safety Dawan Landry (neck), cornerback Derrick Martin (shoulder), offensive tackles Oniel Cousins and David Hale, wide receiver Marcus Smith and nose guard Kelly Gregg (left knee). Rolle was at the game wearing a brace on his neck. Quarterback Kyle Boller, who’s on injured reserve following shoulder surgery, attended the game. … A Ravens defensive tackle made an interception for the second straight week, with Justin Bannan picking off a Kerry Collins pass that was tipped by Haloti Ngata one week after Ngata picked off Ben Roethlisberger. "I caught it with my hand," Bannan said. "Quick reflexes. It happened so fast. Before I knew it, I had a ball in my hand. It’s always good to get a present like that." … Fullback Le’Ron McClain’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter marked the first time all season a team had scored on

during the third quarter. "I love it," he said. "Whatever is going to help the team."… The Titans started four drives in Ravens territory … For the second time in four games, the Ravens did not allow a sack. They have given up only six sacks all season … The Ravens dropped to 32-3 when getting at least two interceptions in a home game since 2000 and 20-2 when allowing 225 total net yards or fewer in M&T Bank Stadium on that span … Eleven of 18 all-time meetings between the Ravens and Titans have been decided by four points or fewer … The Ravens have been outscored 23-7 in the fourth quarter and overtime this season. … Cornerback Chris McAlister intercepted his third pass of the season, moving past middle linebacker Ray Lewis for the second-most interceptions in franchise history with 26 behind safety Ed Reed. … Harbaugh had a successful challenge on a ruling that 

intercepted Flacco in the first quarter and is now 2 for 2 on challenges. … Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was an honorary game captain during the coin toss.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.
Photo by Rick Noppenberger.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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