In the Baltimore Ravens' last three games (dating back to last season's playoffs), quarterback Joe Flacco has had the ball in his hand with the chance to lead a comeback. In all three instances, Flacco has failed to do so.
In fact, Flacco has been intercepted on one of his final passes in all three games. He was picked off in New England, where he surprisingly took a deep shot with 1:46 remaining. He was intercepted in Denver, where he didn't put enough air under the ball on a toss to Crockett Gillmore in the end zone. And he turned the ball over in Oakland, where he overthrew Steve Smith with 19 seconds left in Sunday's 37-33 loss to the Raiders.
"We would like to do the best we can," Flacco said. "No matter how well you play, when you have a chance of winning and you come up a little bit short, it obviously hits you a little bit. It stinks."
It's difficult to be overly critical of Flacco in the last three losses. He threw four touchdowns in the AFC divisional playoff game against the Patriots. His potential winning touchdown pass to Steve Smith in this year's season opener was tipped and went through his receiver's hands. And he produced his third-most passing yards (384) in Oakland.
Still, Flacco hasn't played his best in the clutch recently. In those three losses, he has completed just more than half of his throws (19-of-39) in the fourth quarter with no touchdowns.
Flacco's best chance of reaching the end zone in the fourth quarter Sunday was when Smith missed getting a second foot down after making the catch. Instead of going ahead 37-30, the Ravens settled for a field goal for a 33-30 advantage.
"I let it go and the guy fell down," said Flacco, who has 21 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. "I didn't leave Smith too much room. It would have made a little difference at the end -- [the Raiders] would have had to score a touchdown to send it into overtime. We would probably still be playing, at the least."