Joe Flacco will want to throw this one out, and hope the Bills don’t catch it.
The Ravens quarterback was intercepted a career-high five times and anytime that happens, it will be hard to beat any opponent. Buffalo made Flacco and the Ravens pay for the pile of picks by handing them a 23-20 defeat.
The Ravens slip to 2-2, falling just short after mounting a comeback from down 20-7.
Baltimore pulled to within six on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith and to within three on two field goals after the Bills stretched their lead to 23-14.
But Flacco’s fifth interception with 1:04 to go proved to be the clincher. Flacco finished 25-for-50 for 347 yards and two touchdowns to go with the five picks.
They weren’t all his fault, as one was a tipped ball off the struggling hands of tight end Ed Dickson, but enough were on poor decisions that it should be a concern. Flacco now has been intercepted seven times through four games after being picked off just 10 times all of last season and no more than 12 times in his first five seasons.
At this rate, he’ll far surpass that total.
There are many others who deserve blame for what took place in Buffalo. The running game has been absolutely grounded, finishing with just 24 yards Sunday. Baltimore ran the ball twice in the second half and nine times overall. Ray Rice ran for just 17 yards after missing last week’s game.
Also, the Ravens’ rush defense let Buffalo run for 203 yards with Fred Jackson gaining 87 and C.J. Spiller adding 77 before leaving the game.
Sticking with the negative, cornerback Lardarius Webb also left the game with a thigh injury.
On the positive side, Smith finished with five catches for 166 yards and a touchdown and Deonte Thompson added four catches for 50 yards in his first game of the season.
Corey Graham and Daryl Smith each had an interception with Smith’s being his second in as many games. Chris Canty forced two fumbles in his return to action while Jimmy Smith and Graham each forced one. Brandon Williams recovered a fumble in his NFL debut.
But the picks, lack of a running game and struggles on run defense would be too much for any team to overcome.