Ravens erupt in rout of Raiders
Baltimore, MD – Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 21-of-33 passing and ran for a TD as the Baltimore Ravens blasted the Oakland Raiders, 55-20, at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Torrey Smith caught two touchdown passes for a total of 67 yards and Dennis Pitta added five catches for 67 yards and a score for the Ravens (7-2), who established a new franchise record for most points in one game.
Ray Rice ran for 35 yards and a score on 13 carries and Jacoby Jones chipped in with a 105-yard kickoff return for a score in Baltimore's second straight win.
"That was a heck of a team victory in all three phases of the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I was really pleased with the way we played today and the way we finished."
Carson Palmer threw for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one pick on 29-of-45 passing, while Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey added touchdown catches for the Raiders (3-6), who have lost two straight following a two-game winning streak.
Marcel Reece ran for 48 yards on 13 carries for Oakland, which played without running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson due to injury.
"We had too many mental errors on defense and gave up too many big plays," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "We turned the ball over too many times and didn't execute on special teams."
Baltimore struck first on its opening possession. After a pair of short gains, Flacco hit a wide-open Anquan Bolden for 11 yards on third down, bringing the ball to the Oakland 34.
The drive stalled at the 30 and Justin Tucker banged a 48-yard field goal attempt through the uprights, giving the Ravens a 3-0 lead.
The Ravens extended the lead on their next drive. Facing a 3rd-and-10 from the Oakland 44, Flacco hit Ed Dickson over the middle for 40 yards to the Oakland four. Two plays later, Flacco pushed his way across the goal line, widening the margin to 10-0 with 3:15 left in the quarter.
With the Ravens backed up deep into their own territory, the Oakland defense came up with a big play as Michael Huff jumped in front of a Flacco pass, giving his team excellent field position at the Ravens' 19.
The Oakland offense wasn't able to punch it into the end zone though, and Sebastian Janikowski was good from 32 yards out, cutting the deficit to 10-3 with 10:02 on the second quarter clock.
Baltimore had an answer on its ensuing possession. On 2nd-and-7 Flacco found Jones deep over the middle for 47 yards. Two plays, later he hit Dickson for 19 yards and a key third-down conversion. The Delaware product capped the 6- play drive with a 5-yard touchdown strike to Pitta, widening the lead to 17-3.
Facing a 1st-and-20 on the 37 with 6:14 to play before the half, Palmer's pass was batted up in the air and picked off by Paul Kruger, giving the Ravens the ball at the Oakland 32.
Baltimore moved the ball to the 16, where Tucker squeezed a 34-yarder inside the left upright, making it 20-3.
Oakland finally found the end zone with 1:37 to play in the opening half when Palmer connected with Heyward-Bey over the middle. Bey bounced off a hit by Ed Reed and galloped the rest of the way for a 55-yard touchdown and a 20-10 game.
But the Ravens got the last laugh of the first half as Rice capped a 7-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown sprint, giving the Ravens a comfortable 27-10 lead at halftime.
Three plays into their opening drive of the second half, the Ravens found the end zone again as Flacco unleashed a deep bomb down field for Smith, who hauled it in for a 47-yard score and a 34-10 advantage.
Oakland hit back, though, on its next possession when Palmer lofted one over the middle for Moore, who raced to the end zone for a 30-yard catch and run, cutting the deficit to 34-17.
With 9:42 on the third quarter clock, the Ravens lined up for their first punt of the day. On the play, the ball was juggled on the return and recovered by the Ravens at the Raiders 20.
On the next play, Flacco found Smith in the end zone for a 20-yard TD strike, making it a 41-17 game.
Baltimore continued to pour it on late in the third quarter as a fake field goal direct snap to holder Sam Koch resulted in a 7-yard touchdown run.
Janikowski hit from 47 yards out early in the fourth quarter, but on the ensuing kickoff, Jones took it 105 yards for the touchdown, putting an exclamation point on the blowout for Baltimore.
Palmer fell to 9-5 in his career against the Ravens ...Baltimore improved to 7-1 all-time against Oakland and has won the last four matchups between the teams ... The Ravens previous high for points in a game was 48, accomplished on Dec. 19, 2005 in a 48-3 win over Green Bay, and again on Dec. 13, 2009 by the same score against the Detroit Lions ... Baltimore went 5-of-12 on third down, while Oakland finished 8-of-18 on third down.