NFL Teams
Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer 20d

Defiant Joe Flacco defends Ravens' 32nd-ranked offense

NFL, Baltimore Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- An uncharacteristically defiant Joe Flacco bristled at critical questions about the Baltimore Ravens' offense on Wednesday and defended the play of the NFL's 32nd-ranked offense.

"I think we're getting ahead of ourselves when we all of a sudden start saying we haven't played well for three weeks," Flacco said. "We played terribly last week. There's no way around that. But the other two weeks, we did what we had to do to win football games. I don't think that's anything that we can hang our head over."

The Ravens rank last in the NFL in total yards, averaging at least 9 yards less than every other offense in the league.

Baltimore kept to a conservative game plan in victories over the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns to start the season because the Ravens led by a combined score of 38-7 in the first half. But the Ravens flopped offensively in Sunday's 44-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, producing minus-1 yard in the first quarter and failing to produce a first down until four minutes left before halftime.

Flacco, who is known for his laid-back demeanor, answered questions about the offense with more of an edge on Wednesday.

"The stats aren't going to be there in those [first two] games, and you can't look at that and say we played bad," Flacco said. "You have to look at the film and say, good play, good play, bad play, good play. You can't necessarily grade people's performances based on how many catches they had or how many throws they've completed."

Flacco insisted the struggles of the last game won't diminish his optimism for the offense.

"It better not, or we have no shot," he said.

Through three games, the Ravens rank last or second-to-last in four offensive categories categories: total yards, yards per play, passing yards and average passing yards per attempt.

"On that side of the ball, we're working really hard to be a lot better than we've been," coach John Harbaugh said. "We recognized that we're not playing the kind of football on offense that's going to put a lot of points on the board. We want to score points. We want to take pressure off the other two phases as much as we can."

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