The Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 last night to start off week two of the NFL season. Baltimore looked like a completely different team than they did last Sunday which is a great thing to see, especially after all of the distractions surrounding the team.
On the offensive side of the game, Joe Flacco threw the ball really well. He completed 21 of 29 passes with two touchdowns, both of which were to tight end Owen Daniels. In the first quarter, Flacco was 4-4. They didn’t throw the ball a lot throughout the game, which I think is a good thing after Flacco had 62 attempts with just 35 completions last week.
By setting up the run last night, The Ravens took some of the pressure off of Flacco. Bernard Pierce had 96 yards on 22 carries and Justin Forsett had 56 yards on just eight carries. Both running backs had a pretty good night. Neither back scored, but they both ran hard when given the opportunity. With both backs performing well, that keeps Flacco from having to try and do it all. Which let’s be honest here, isn’t the best thing, especially looking back to last week. What they lacked last week in offensive balance, they made up for this week.
The defense played exceptionally well. There was pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Elvis Dumervil had both of the Ravens sacks on the night. The Ravens also had two forced fumbles with two recoveries and also had an interception. Haloti Ngata tipped a pass from Roethlisberger and dove after it, getting the interception.
The Ravens defense didn’t allow a single touchdown, holding up strong in the red zone to force two field goals. This is a great sign for the defense as it shows toughness late in drives, which is always great to see. I was very surprised to see no big plays given up by the Ravens secondary, as I feel this is still one of the team’s weakest points. Jimmy Smith, and Asa Jackson both got the start tonight while Chykie Brown played as the third cornerback. Lardarious Webb still has not played, although he practiced all week. I hope to see him return soon.
The Ravens next game is against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland on Sunday, September 21 at 1 pm eastern time.