Flacco one com­ple­tion shy of an NFL record

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Jeff Zrebiec jeff.zrebiec@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun

JACK­SONVILLE, FLA. — Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco couldn’t help but have some fun with Mike Wal­lace. Af­ter learn­ing that Wal­lace’s third-quar­ter drop in the end zone had pre­vented him from an NFL record-ty­ing 22 straight com­ple­tions in a sin­gle game, Flacco ap­proached the wide re­ceiver in the locker room and in­formed him what he had done.

The two shook hands as sev­eral other Ravens of­fen­sive play­ers, who wit­nessed the ex­change, chuck­led nearby. Af­ter beat­ing the Jack­sonville Jaguars, 19-17, on Sun­day and im­prov­ing to 3-0, it was easy for Flacco to make light of the sit­u­a­tion.

“You’re go­ing with the flow and you don’t even re­al­ize it,” Flacco said. “You’re just mak­ing plays. This is a de­fense where you check the ball down a lit­tle bit, so there are some easy com­ple­tions to find. We were prob­a­bly not get­ting a ton of yards on them.”

Flacco broke his own team record of 14 con­sec­u­tive com­ple­tions in a game against the Den­ver Bron­cos in 2009. The NFLrecord for con­sec­u­tive com­ple­tions in a game is 22, held by the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins’ Mark Brunell (2006 against the Hous­ton Tex­ans) and the Tex­ans’ David Carr (2006 against the Buf­falo Bills).

The Philadel­phia Ea­gles’ Donovan McNabb com­pleted 24 con­sec­u­tive passes in 2004, but that run spanned two games.

Flacco got into a groove and ap­proached those marks.

“He’s ca­pa­ble of that,” Ravens tight end Den­nis Pitta said of Flacco. “He’s an ac­cu­rate passer, de­ci­sive and knows what to do with the ball. Twenty-some­thing com­ple­tions in a row doesn’t re­ally sur­prise us.”

The streak started with a 12-yard com­ple­tion to Wal­lace at the 6:52 mark of the first quar­ter. Un­for­tu­nately, Wal­lace’s drop was one of the pret­ti­est passes Flacco threw all day, but the speedy wide­out couldn’t haul it in.

Flacco fin­ished the game 29 of40 for 215 yards, no touch­down passes and two in­ter­cep­tions. Smith Sr. and Ram­sey spar: Ravens vet­eran wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. and Jaguars rookie cor­ner­back Jalen Ram­sey got into a scuf­fle, and re­ceived match­ing un­sports­man­like-con­duct penal­ties in the af­ter­math of Paul Posluszny’s in­ter­cep­tion of Flacco late in the fourth quar­ter.

There was no fur­ther in­ci­dents be­tween the two, but Ram­sey was ap­par­ently still peeved af­ter the game, when­he­said he didn’t re­spect Smith and called the 37-year-old an old man. Ram­sey is 21.

“Y’all tell me who got in whose head,” Ram­sey said. “He came up to me af­ter the game, you feel me? Y’all tell me who got in . Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco runs for a first-quar­ter touch­down. He fin­ished with 21 straight pass com­ple­tions, one short of ty­ing the NFL sin­gle-game record. whose head. He’s an old man act­ing like that. Ain’t no­body wor­ried about him. He­came up to me, you know what I’m say­ing, on some dis­re­spect­ful stuff. The game’s over with. You still mad ’cause I was lock­ing you up? All right, go sleep on that.”

Smith wasn’t asked about Ram­sey af­ter the game, but he had plenty to say on so­cial me­dia when he learned of Ram­sey’s postgame com­ments.

“I gave U ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to speak face to face but you found your voice safely be­hind closed doors,” Smith wrote on Twit­ter. “Young man I don’t need ur re­spect!”

Smith also wrote, “I got cleats with stronger thread than you.”

Smith fin­ished with eight catches for 87 yards. Ram­sey, whom the Ravens cov­eted in this year’s draft, had­five tack­les and­de­flected a pass that led to an in­ter­cep­tion by Tashaun Gip­son. Stan­ley strug­gles: The Ravens know that rookie left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley is hardly a fin­ished prod­uct, and he’ll have some games like Sun­day, when he was called for two penal­ties and beaten for a sack by for­mer Mary­land stand­out Yan­nick Ngak­oue.

Stan­ley has im­pressed Ravens of­fi­cials, but he strug­gled with the speed of the Jaguars’ edge rush­ers.

“They were just fast. They fly around to the ball, they re­ally use speed to their ad­van­tage,” Stan­ley said. “They knew we were go­ing to have to throw the ball there so they were able to pin their ears back and took off on a lot of plays where they wouldn’t know if it was run or pass on a nor­mal sit­u­a­tion.”

Stan­ley, the sixth over­all draft pick, said he was look­ing for­ward to watch­ing tape and mak­ing corrections.

“There are def­i­nitely things I can work on, but we’re go­ing to en­joy this win,” he said. “I know when I got back to work on Tues­day, there’s go­ing to be things that I need to work on, like alot of guys. But­that’s just that. It’s just know­ing you got to work on things and be­ing ma­ture enough to work on them.” End zone: Start­ing left guard Alex Lewis left the game with an undis­closed in­jury and was re­placed by Ryan Jensen. ... Coach John Har­baugh has 80 reg­u­lar-sea­son wins, ty­ing him with Brian Bil­lick for the most in fran­chise his­tory. …The Ravens had three in­ter­cep­tions, giv­ing them five for the sea­son. They­had­six all of last year. ……… Af­ter say­ing dur­ing the week that he was hope­ful he’d be able to make his 2016 de­but against the Jaguars, Ravens strong-side line­backer Elvis Dumervil was again in­ac­tive as he con­tin­ues to re­cover from off­sea­son foot surgery. The Ravens had the same seven in­ac­tive play­ers for the third straight week as run­ning backs Ken­neth Dixon (knee) and Buck Allen, of­fen­sive line­man John Urschel, de­fen­sive tackle Wil­lie Henry and cor­ner­backs Jer­raud Pow­ers and Will Davis were all kept out. …A few of the Jaguars, in­clud­ing line­backer Tevin Smith and de­fen­sive end Dante Fowler Jr. held their fists up dur­ing the na­tional an­them. No­body on the Ravens’ side­line en­gaged in any form of protest.

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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