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Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer 351d

Joe Flacco says Ravens' offensive struggles are on him, says he needs to 'trust the pocket'

NFL, Baltimore Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco accepted responsibility for the struggles of the NFL's third-worst offense.

"Listen, I'm going to put it on me every time as a quarterback of this football team," Flacco said Wednesday. "That's what it's all about."

Flacco is second-to-last in passer rating (65.0), ranking ahead of only Browns rookie DeShone Kizer. His 601 yards passing ranks 32nd in the NFL and his six interceptions are tied for second-most in the league.

In assessing his play, the quarterback believes he needs to "trust the pocket," show more patience to allow his receivers to get downfield and make smarter throws.

"It's your job to stand in the pocket or get out of it and make a play," Flacco said. "That's what the league comes down to is the ability to do that when times are tough. Anybody can sit back there and do it when it's easy, but there's going to be a handful of situations every game where they're getting paid too. And when you really make your money and you make your points and prove you're a good offense is when you're doing it against tough situations."

Flacco's laid-back demeanor can help him in these tough times, coach John Harbaugh said.

"He's not going to get carried away with what the noise is," Harbaugh said. "It's not going to affect him too much. He's going to want to get the job done. I trust him. I believe in him. We need to roll."

Under Flacco, who led the franchise to a Super Bowl win in the 2012 season, the Ravens have scored just one touchdown in the past 28 drives. Baltimore has been shut out in the first half the past two weeks.

Flacco feels the current challenge is as much mental as it is physical.

"I think our confidence level can be higher," Flacco said. "The way we've played the past couple of weeks can definitely creep in and hurt that. We got to do the best we can that we believe in who we are as players and who we are as a football team, so we can go out there and play free. Once Sunday comes around, the team that usually wins is the team that can go out there and let it loose and we have to do a better job of doing that."

The Ravens (2-2) play at the Oakland Raiders (2-2) on Sunday.

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