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Joe Flacco defends Ravens' offense after blowout loss

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Joe Flacco doesn't appreciate the notion that the Baltimore Ravens' offense is struggling.

The normally even-keeled quarterback shot back Wednesday when asked his thoughts on why the offense hasn't played well through three games.

"I think we're getting ahead of ourselves when, all of a sudden, we say we haven't played well for three weeks," Flacco said, via the team's official website. "We played terribly last week; there's no way around that. But the other two weeks, we did what we had to do to win and I don't think that's anything we can hang our heads over."

In Week 3, Flacco posted the worst passer rating of any regular-season game in his career (12.0), tossing for just 28 yards and two interceptions.

The previous two weeks, Flacco didn't look a ton better throwing the ball, but Baltimore was able to gash the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns on the ground en route to two victories.

"We did what we had to do to win," Flacco said of the first two weeks. "All of a sudden when you lose one and didn't play well, you act like you haven't played well at all and it's not true.

"Statistically it wasn't the best performance [in the first two games], but we did what we needed to do to win the football game, and that's what this is all about."

When the running game was stymied early in the Week 3 loss, the offense began to crumble.

Coming off a back injury that kept him out all preseason, Flacco has looked predictably wobbly through three starts. The quarterback has attempted just 69 passes this season, his fewest total in the first three games since his rookie season (48 in 2008).

Flacco hasn't been efficient with those few attempts. He has completed just 60.9 percent of his passes (ranking 27th in the NFL), for 5.3 yards per attempt (NFL low), 122.0 yards per game (NFL worst) and a 65.2 passer rating (31st).

The Ravens QB, however, insisted a play here or there would have made a difference, especially in the Week 3 blowout.

"It's never as good as you think or as bad as you think. Having said that, when one or two guys do something wrong every single play, it isn't the biggest thing that went wrong, but they add up," Flacco said. "If we make a first down on those first two drives, the game could be completely different. We could go down and score a touchdown or kick a field goal, and the whole game is different from that point on. There's a butterfly effect to everything. You don't get a first down and it just grows. That's what you see when you go back and look at the film. It wasn't anything major, but little things, each guy taking their turn doing their little thing that wasn't correct, then you've got a blowout."

Gearing up for Sunday's division showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens will need Flacco to emerge from his early-season funk.

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