Extra points: Flacco throws career-high 62 passes in Ravens loss
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco was outdueled by Peyton Manning in the Ravens 49-27 loss to the Broncos in the NFL's regular season opener on Thursday.
Despite having Ray Rice in the backfield, the Ravens still managed to throw the ball 62 times in Thursday's 49-27 loss to the Broncos. Flacco's 62 passes were the most he's ever thrown in his six-year career. Flacco's previous high was 52 attempts, which came in a 22-17 loss to Seattle in 2011.
Flacco finished the game 34-of-62 for 362 yards and two touchdowns along with two interceptions. The yardage total was the fourth-highest of Flacco's career.
It's hard to point to one play as a turning point when you lose by 22 points, but the Ravens might be able too.
On the Broncos first possession of the second half, Denver overcame a third-and-9 when Manning hit Wes Welker for a 10-yard gain -- or did Manning hit Wes Welker for a 10-yard gain? Replays seemed to clearly show that Welker dropped the pass, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh never challenged the play.
The @SNFonNBC crew did a tremendous job pointing out Harbaugh's failure to challenge. And Peyton a great job of getting the snap off.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 6, 2013
Manning got up to the line and quickly ran the next play so that the Ravens couldn't challenge.
If the Ravens would have challenged, the ruling would have almost certainly been an incomplete pass and Denver would have punted. Instead, Manning threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell three plays later that gave Denver a 21-17 lead.
That lead swelled to 42-17 before the Ravens would score again. Harbaugh said after the game that he wasn't aware the Ravens needed to challenge the Welker catch, "It'd be nice if NBC would show that and get a chance to look at it. We never saw that," Harbaugh said, via ESPN.com.
Turning point Part II
The Broncos 21-17 lead wouldn't have been so bad if they weren't able to turn it into a 28-17 lead just 2:02 second later, but they did. Denver's David Bruton blocked a Sam Koch punt and the Broncos were able to recover at the Ravens 10-yard line.
Two plays later Manning hit Welker for a five-yard touchdown pass that gave Denver an 11-point lead.
"The blocked punt was a big deal," Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. "It was just too easy for them. We gave up too many easy things. That's the issue."
Ravens running back Ray Rice never got going against the Broncos defense.
Rice carried the ball 12 times for 36 yards, marking the second lowest total of Rice's career in a game where he got 10 or more carries. It was kind of shocking the Ravens never got their running game going considering they led at halftime and never trailed by more than four points until the 10:28 mark of the third quarter.
The Ravens lost two key players to injuries on Thursday in wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) and right tackle Michael Oher (ankle). Oher went down at the end of the first quarter, Jones went down in the second quarter and neither player returned to the game.
It's hard to say if the game would have changed if Oher and Jones had stayed healthy, but what you can say is that the Ravens offensive looked almost helpless in the second half with Jones and Oher on the bench.
Harbaugh didn't provide a postgame update on either Oher or Jones.
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