Dennis Pitta deserved plenty of praise for his two-touchdown performance in Sunday's 38-6 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
But as Pitta relished in* *scoring his first touchdowns in nearly three years, his defensive teammates were also quick to remind him about his one mistake that led to a spoiled shutout.
Pitta fumbled early in the fourth quarter with the Ravens leading 24-0, and the Dolphins returned the turnover to Baltimore's 8-yard line. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill then threw a touchdown on the next play for Miami's only points of the day.
"That was my first fumble ever, in college or the NFL," Pitta said. "I've been apologizing to those guys because I gave up six points."
The miscue didn't really hurt the Ravens in the big picture considering they still had their most lopsided victory of the season, but wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. admitted that the "defense was riding us a little bit because we messed up their goose egg."
Pitta took the good natured ribbing in stride, and his defensive teammates said they'll find the right opportunity to bring it up with him.
"I might mention it one time," safety Lardarius Webb said. "But we just had to go out and it's on us. Even if they do have a turnover, we got to come out and keep them out of the end zone. So we're not going to blame him."
"We might mess with him a little bit, but other than that we got the W and that's all that matters," defensive tackle Brandon Williams added.
Outside of that one touchdown, the defense delivered another stellar performance Sunday. The group has established itself as one of the best units in the league, and they shut down a Dolphins team that came into the weekend riding a six-game winning streak.
Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi had more rushing yards than anyone in the league during that winning streak, but the Ravens limited him to 61 yards on the day.
"We're the No. 1 run defense in the league right now. That's what we do," Williams said. "When running backs come against us, we just do our jobs. We execute, we stay together as a group and we get the job done."
Tannehill also struggled to get into any kind of rhythm against Baltimore's defense, and he finished with three interceptions.
"When the plays were there to be made, we made them," safety Eric Weddle said. "And that's huge for us. It's something that we strive to be. We're trying to be the best, each play, each game, and we showed some of it today.
The Ravens were clearly excited after the victory, but they also cautioned against getting too high on themselves. Missing the shutout because of a fumble was a little disappointing, but it was also a reminder that they still have work to do.
"We're excited, but we still can get better," Williams said. "That six points is still going to burn a hole in the back of your heads. We could have got the goose egg, but we didn't, so there's something to get better at."