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Joe Flacco Breaks Down What Happened on 'Really Bad' Pick Six

For a second straight game, Jets quarterback Joe Flacco threw a costly interception. Here's what the veteran had to say after the game about what happened on his first pass attempt of the game.

If you hadn't watched the Jets at all this season, but tuned in at the start of Sunday's Week 11 game against the Chargers in Los Angeles, odds are you were at least a bit surprised by the first 10-plus minutes of the first quarter.

New York roared out of the gates, storming out to an early lead after blocking a punt. Then, after a lengthy drive from rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, the defense made a stop in the red zone, forcing a fumble and getting the ball back poised to put more points on the board.

Could this be the week that New York finally secures its first win of the season? 

Then, Joe Flacco threw his first pass of the game.

From the Jets' four yard line, the veteran quarterback—filling in once again for Sam Darnold—tried to find receiver Jamison Crowder on a shallow out route toward the far sideline. Instead, Flacco's pass was gift-wrapped for Chargers cornerback Tevaughn Campbell, who read the play like a book, pounced and snagged the football before Crowder had a chance to react.

The Chargers defensive back needed only four strides to take the interception into the end zone for an easy pick six. 

"The interception I threw was really bad," Flacco said in a Zoom call after the game. "I threw it way behind Crowder. I didn’t get my hips out there. At best, we should have had probably a completion, maybe to the slant and at worst we should have had an incompletion over Crowder’s head and instead they end up with seven points on the board. So, I think that obviously hurt us."

READ: Jets Nearly Capture First Win of Season, Can't Catch Up to Justin Herbert's Chargers

Counting the score on defense, Los Angeles put up 24 unanswered points before the Jets managed to build on what was originally an early lead. Over the rest of the first half, Flacco completed only three passes and didn't connect with a wide receiver until the third quarter.

Jets head coach Adam Gase said Flacco's pick six "wasn't the right decision" to make in that situation.

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"We struggled in the first half. We had some good momentum going," Gase said. "We get a turnover, we throw a pick six. Then, we couldn’t do anything on offense. We struggled to get those guys off the field."

In the second half, Flacco found his groove. He wound up eclipsing the 200-yard mark on Sunday, completing 15 of his 30 passes to go along with two touchdown passes. Airing it out, he launched a 49-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman, a beautifully placed ball in the third quarter, and continued to routinely target rookie Denzel Mims down the field. 

Nonetheless, this is the second straight week that Flacco has had a costly interception cast a shadow on what was otherwise a decent performance.

Against the Patriots in Week 9, Flacco forced a deep ball into double coverage and had it picked off over the top by one of New England's defensive backs. It was also on the first play of a drive. 

With six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a tie game, however, that one had even more of an impact on the game's final result.

READ: Jets' Joe Flacco Says Fourth-Quarter Interception vs. Patriots Is Still Running Through His Mind

Fellow veteran Frank Gore, who set a season-high with 61 rushing yards on Sunday, didn't blame Flacco's early blunder for how the rest of the game played out. That doesn't mean it wasn't a debilitating way to change the momentum early on.

"It was tough because we just made a play on defense and we felt like the offense was going and we threw the pick six, but early in the game, things happen in football," Gore said. "We came on the sideline and said 'let's go! Let's get the ball back and go down the field.' Things just didn't go right. We just kept fighting and got better second half."

Gase said on Friday that Darnold, who has now missed four games this season, has a "good shot" to return in Week 12. Otherwise, it'll be on Flacco once again to try and march this offense to their first victory of the season.

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