OWINGS MILLS, Md. — To beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens need to get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, contain Antonio Brown and take advantage of their rival’s 22nd-ranked run defense.
If you’re playing the odds, the biggest key to downing the Steelers is quarterback Joe Flacco ending the NFL’s longest current interception streak.
Simply put, the Ravens are 48-13 (.786) when Flacco doesn’t throw an interception. Baltimore is 37-43 (.462) when he does get picked off.
“I am never happy that I throw them, but it is part of the game, and I’m going to do my best to limit them moving forward,” Flacco said. “You have to understand it is going to happen, and if you don’t have a short memory as a quarterback, then you are in trouble and your team is in trouble.”
Flacco has thrown an interception in nine straight games, which is the worst stretch of his 10-year career. No one else in the NFL currently has a streak longer than six games. The last game Flacco wasn’t picked off was Nov. 20, 2016, in Dallas.
He has a long way to threaten any NFL records. The longest streak since the 1970 merger is 20 games by Joe Namath (1970-73), according to ESPN Stats & Information.
For the season, Flacco’s four interceptions are tied for the second-most in the NFL. Only Browns rookie DeShone Kizer has more with seven.
“What do you want me to say? They are bad plays,” Flacco said. “I do not care what the reason for it is. The result is not good for the team, and it falls on my shoulders and that is the end of it.”
Interceptions have become an increasing problem for Flacco. Since he was the Super Bowl MVP in 2012, he has thrown the third-most interceptions (65) in the NFL. Only Eli Manning (75) and Philip Rivers (67) have been picked off more.
This year, Flacco is averaging an interception every 17 pass attempts. Not all of the picks can be blamed on Flacco. Last week…