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Flacco struggles in Ravens' 23-20 loss to Bills

Sunday - 9/29/2013, 8:58pm  ET

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks with referee Jerome Boger (23) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Buffalo won 23-20. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- After throwing five interceptions, quarterback Joe Flacco took the blame for the Baltimore Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"Things were going our way a lot, just not when I threw it to them," Flacco said.

Flacco threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns, but was hurt by the interceptions by the Buffalo defense that's been ravaged by injuries in their secondary.

"Hey, they picked me off five times," Flacco said after the Ravens fell to 2-2.

"We had four interceptions and still had a chance to win at the end. With the way I played, turning the ball over and all that, the fact that we were able to hang in there and still have a shot at the end, we did certain things well."

His last interception ended the Ravens' comeback attempt.

Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso made a diving catch to intercept a tipped pass intended for Dallas Clark over the middle with 57 seconds left to seal the win.

Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith had five catches for 166 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.

The Bills grabbed an early lead and were able to pressure Flacco.

The Ravens had a franchise-low nine rushing attempts. The Ravens' 24 yards rushing matched the second fewest in team history. The team low is 14 yards, set in a 25-10 loss at Tennessee on Sept. 18, 2005.

At one point in the game, Baltimore passed on 31 consecutive non-kicking plays.

"You get behind, you can't pound the rock," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "You just can't do it."

The Ravens entered the fourth quarter down 23-14 and twice made their way into the red zone, only to settle for field goals.

The Ravens managed just 121 yards and five first downs in the first half.

And Baltimore's defense set up the team's lone first-half touchdown, which came after quarterback EJ Manuel lost a fumble at the Buffalo 27 while being sacked by defensive end Chris Canty.

After four games, the Ravens' offense is still looking for an identity after losing Anquan Boldin to an offseason trade and Jacoby Jones and Dennis Pitta to injuries.

Aaron Williams also had two interceptions for the Bills.

Fred Jackson had 87 yards rushing, and scored on a 16-yard run for the Bills, who are off to a 2-2 start under rookie head coach Doug Marrone.

C.J. Spiller added 77 yards rushing in helping Buffalo combine for 203 yards on the ground against a defense that had allowed just 224 in its first three games.

Alonso has four interceptions on the season and became the team's first rookie linebacker to have an interception in three consecutive games.

The second-round pick out of Oregon was happy to see the Bills close out a close one.

"We knew it was in our hands," he said. "We were up two scores when the fourth quarter started, so we knew it was in our hands."

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus had two of Buffalo's four sacks. The Bills' defense bounced back from a porous outing in a 27-20 loss to the New York Jets last week.

The five interceptions were the most by the Bills defense since it had six in a 16-13 overtime win over the New York Jets on Oct. 18, 2009.

The Bills limited the Ravens to 345 yards, after giving up 513 to the Jets.

And they did it with a secondary that was missing both starting cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (broken hand) and Leodis McKelvin (right hamstring) and starting safety Jairus Byrd (foot injury). The defensive backfield was thinned even further after Williams was unable to finish the game because of a sore back.

Manuel went 10 of 22 for 167 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods. Manuel had two interceptions and also lost a fumble.

The Bills never trailed after Woods scored to make it 13-7 midway through the second quarter.

Dan Carpenter hit all three field-goal attempts, including a 22-yarder with 2 minutes left in the third quarter to put the Bills ahead 23-14.

The Bills overcame injuries to both Jackson and Spiller (left ankle), who were both out during a portion of the third quarter. Both returned and finished the game.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org


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