Flacco explains game changing interception
The Ravens offense had been struggling miserably and didn’t even register a first down for the first 21 minutes.
Boobirds were letting quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense have it.
Finally, a spark: Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 43-yard pass down the right sideline. Ray Rice broke off an 11-yard run. The Ravens, down 10-0 at the time, reached the Broncos 4-yard line and appeared on their way to a touchdown that would cut the Broncos lead to three points by halftime.
Then came the play of the game.
With Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin both lined up to the left, Flacco thought of throwing a fade to the back of the end zone for Smith. Instead, he took a quick drop and threw toward the sideline for Boldin. Broncos cornerback Chris Harris jumped the route, stepped in front of Boldin, picked off the pass and went 98 yards for a touchdown.
Flacco, who pursued Harris the whole way, dove at his feet at the 5-yard line and ended up lying face-down in the grass for 20 seconds, a picture of total frustration.
Instead of the Ravens possibly closing the gap to 10-7, Denver took a 17-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the half. Game over.
“I just made a mistake,” Flacco said. “There’s no other way to put that. I made a mistake.”
“I was just reading it out, and the fade was taking a little longer than I wanted, so I was bringing it down…” Flacco added later. “In hindsight, I should have taken the ball and thrown it over Anquan’s head and lived for the next play.”
Said Harris: “I didn’t really expect him to throw that out-route, but he threw it to me and I just wanted to make sure I scored. … I just made a play, and it really changed the game.”
A subdued Boldin would not discuss the play afterward. “I’d rather not,” he said, noting that he was “not discouraged at all, just frustrated.”
Indeed, it was a frustrating afternoon for Boldin, who was held without a catch for the first time since 2005 and just the second time in his career. His only catch was nullified by penalty, and he was also whistled for unnecessary roughness for a late hit away from the ball in the fourth quarter.
Flacco finished 20-for-40 for 254 yards, numbers that were partially inflated by a late 61-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta. His biggest throw of the game, though, was the one caught by the Broncos.
"As much as we weren’t playing very well in the first half, we still had that opportunity at the end of it to go down there, put points on the board and ... then get the ball coming out of the half," Flacco said. "That could have changed the game. It’s a 14-point swing, and that really hurt us.”