Notebook: Flacco struggles in loss

INDIANAPOLIS -- Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco had his worst game yet as the first-round draft pick threw a career-high three interceptions and fumbled twice in a 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. His second pass of the first quarter was intercepted by safety Melvin Bullitt on a pass intended for wide receiver Mark Clayton.

Then, Flacco fumbled on a botched handoff to running back Ray Rice that was recovered.

In the second quarter, Flacco was intercepted by Antoine Bethea while trying to find Clayton again as he didn't look off the safety.

"It's a combination of bad throws and bad decisions," Flacco said. "I threw two of them high and missed the guys, for some reason. I've just got to make better decisions."

Flacco completed 28 of 38 passes for a career-high 241 yards, but was sacked four times and had a 57.0 quarterback rating.

"Obviously, Joe will be harder on himself than anybody else," wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "As players, we have to be behind him and support him through the good and the bad. He understands what he has to do. I don't want this situation to be a hindrance."

INJURY REPORT: Ravens right offensive guard Marshal Yanda left the game in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday with a serious injury to his right knee, and will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam today to determine the severity of the damage.

It's feared that Yanda has torn his anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament.

It was initially diagnosed as a sprained knee by team officials, and Yanda was on crutches following the Ravens' 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"It's tough to see anybody go down like he did," left guard Ben Grubbs said. "I know Marshal is a tough guy and he's going to bounce back from it."

Yanda was replaced by center-guard-tight end Chris Chester, a former second-round draft pick who has been unable to claim a starting position on the line.

"I know there's always a chance that I'll be needed, and the coaches prepared me all week," Chester said. "We'll all pray for the best for Marshal. If they need me to stay in there for however long, I'll be ready."

Yanda's was the most serious injury, but not the only one reported afterward.

Return specialist Yamon Figurs suffered a left knee contusion. Offensive tackle Jared Gaither hurt his shoulder and his knee. And rookie safety Tom Zbikowski left the game with a shoulder injury and didn't return.

Although running back Willis McGahee left the game in the second half, he just appears to be banged-up and not injured.

Offensive tackle Willie Anderson got dinged, too, but wasn't listed on the injury report.

STONEWALLED: The Ravens' fourth-ranked running game grinded to a halt against what was supposed to be a pushover opponent.

The Colts entered the game with the league's last-ranked run defense, allowing 188 yards per game. On Sunday, they shut down running backs Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain as Baltimore gained a season-low 51 rushing yards on 19 carries.

"It wasn't what they were doing, it was what we were doing," said McClain, the Ravens' leading rusher who was held to a season-low minus-two rushing yards on two carries. "Willis was running hard, but those turnovers killed us. We just weren't executing.

"We were one block away on some runs and could have broken a long run out of the gate, but we were just one block away and didn't break it."

McClain lost a fumble in the first half when defensive end Raheem Brock punched the ball out of his hand.

"I was just handling the ball when he hit it right on the ball," McClain said. "That can't happen."

Despite a significant size advantage, the Ravens struggled against the Colts' aggressive, speedy front seven. They ran line stunts effectively as 240-pound defensive end Robert Mathis burst past right offensive tackle Willie Anderson for three sacks and four tackles for losses with one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

"It really doesn't matter about their size, they played a good game," left offensive tackle Jared Gaither said. "We've got to come out stronger next week. It's a learning experience. You can always learn something from every person and more about your own game."

Rice rushed for 23 yards on six carries and McGahee was held to 18 yards on eight carries as the Colts swarmed them at the line of scrimmage.

"I think they did a great job in getting to the ball," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They play fast, they get off blocks and they tackle well. You play a team like that, you've got to handle movement. You've got to sustain blocks and you've got to run through tackles. Those are things we didn't do especially well this game."

STICKING TOGETHER: Harbaugh was adamant about not criticizing his players as he took several questions from reporters about cornerback Chris McAlister, who allowed two touchdown passes.

"It wasn't all Chris' fault," Harbaugh said. "We're not about pointing the finger. If anybody thinks I'm going to stand up here and point the finger at one guy or another guy and say, 'This guy played well and this guy didn't play well,' then you can pack up your tape recorders right now.

"That's not what we're about. We're a football team and we've got to get better as a football team."

QUICK HITS: The Ravens deactivated quarterback Troy Smith, cornerbacks Samari Rolle (neck surgery) and Fabian Washington (dislocated right shoulder), offensive tackles David Hale and Adam Terry (sprained right knee, lateral meniscus), wide receiver Marcus Smith and defensive tackle Lamar Divens (illness). Divens didn't make the trip. ... Terry didn't elaborate much on whether he would be back in the lineup against the Miami Dolphins. "We'll see how it goes next week," he said. ... Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison's two touchdown catches gives him 126 for his career, moving past Walter Payton and into 10th on the NFL's all-time list. ... The Colts were playing without Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders as well as cornerback Kelvin Hayden, linebacker Buster Davis, offensive guard Daniel Federkeil, wide receiver Roy Hall, defensive tackle Daniel Muir, defensive end Marcus Howard and defensive back Nick Graham.


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