Flacco, Offense Struggle To Score Points

Turnovers and missed opportunities cost the Ravens in San Diego.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing, Week 15 vs Chargers

On a night where little went right for the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Joe Flacco struggled to find success as Baltimore leaned on the passing game to try to erase a three-score, second-half deficit.

He missed open receivers and was picked off twice, as the Ravens were given a 34-14 thumping at the hands of the Chargers.

“It was just bad,” Flacco said after the game. “They came out and played well and we didn’t play that well.”

Flacco was able to move the offense at times, finishing with 226 passing yards and two touchdowns, but miscues kept them from scoring points early in the game and overshadowed the positive plays.

Part of the problem for the offense, Head Coach John Harbaugh said, was that Flacco didn’t have many open receivers.

“Joe didn’t have a lot of places to go with the ball that were clear cut to him,” Harbaugh said during Monday’s press conference. “They did a really nice job of covering. It was mostly zone coverage the whole game.  And they just executed it very well.”

When Flacco did have opportunities to hit open receivers, he missed on some throws.

On the Ravens’ opening drive, Flacco missed Lee Evans for a touchdown, under-throwing the ball when Evans was open in the end zone.  The Ravens then had to settle for a 36-yard field goal attempt, which Billy Cundiff pushed wide right.

The Chargers then marched right down the field and scored on their opening possession.

“We moved the ball really well up and down the field, but we need to score points,” running back Ray Rice said. “We missed out on a few opportunities today.”

Later in the first half, with the Ravens down 10-7, a third-down pass intended for Rice was too high and he wasn’t able to haul in the catch. He would have run for a first down around midfield, but instead the Ravens had to punt and the Chargers came back down the field to make the score 17-7 just before halftime.

“It was an ugly one,” Flacco said. “Things weren’t going our way.”

In the second half, things turned from bad to worse.

The Chargers started with the ball to open the third quarter and scored another quick touchdown, making the score 24-7 and putting the Ravens in a situation where they had to try to pass their way back into the game.

Flacco and the offense struggled to score points, as he threw two interceptions and the Ravens allowed six sacks.

His first interception came on the Ravens’ opening drive of the second half, as they moved the ball into Chargers territory. He threw a pass in the middle of the field intended for Evans, but it hit Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes right in the chest and he returned it 45 yards to set up the Chargers final touchdown.

“I thought Spikes hesitated a little bit,” Flacco said. “I was planning to throw it around him and hit Lee (Evans) in the hole and I just didn’t quite get it around him.”

When the Ravens got the ball back, Flacco was again picked off as a dump-off pass to Rice was tipped at the line and caught by linebacker Shaun Phillips.

“Anytime you lose a game, you’re not happy about it,” Flacco said. “I think you’re more disappointed really when you do shoot yourself in the foot and you feel like you could have done something about it.

“You’ve got to move on,” Flacco added. “We’re going to fight from here on out.”

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