Joe Flacco, Offense Humming In Win Over Raiders


The Ravens offense was humming.

Quarterback Joe Flacco was sharp and efficient, and had the offense running like a well-oiled machine. He spread the ball around to his receivers and tight ends, and the Ravens had a record-setting performance in Sunday's 55-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

"Obviously, we had success," Flacco said. "We ran the game plan, and it worked well. We stuck with it. We scored points early and continued to score them."

The 55 points were the most the Ravens have ever scored and the most scored by any team in the NFL this season. The offense was responsible for 41 of those points, as special teams added two more scores on a fake field goal and kickoff return.

Overall, it was Flacco and the passing game that set the tempo for the offense.

Flacco finished the day 21-of-33 passing for 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also added a 1-yard touchdown run. He finished with a quarterback rating of 115.8, which was his best performance since a Week 3 victory over the Patriots.

He was 59 yards shy of reaching the 400-yard milestone, which he may have reached had he not sat out the entire fourth quarter with the game out of reach for Oakland.  Flacco has never thrown for 400 yards in his five-year career.

"I want to put up statistics, but like I said, once Sunday comes around, you do what you have to do to win the football game, and you're satisfied with that," Flacco said.

Flacco could have put up even more gaudy statistics, but the Ravens decided to put in the second team and Flacco didn't even throw a pass in the fourth quarter.

"A little bit of you wants to go back out there and continue and get stats, but you realize that you're kind of going to go run the ball anyway," Flacco said with a smile.

Flacco stole the show, but plenty other players also got a piece of the pie. Six players scored touchdowns, eight caught a pass and just about everybody had a chance to get some playing time in the lopsided victory.

"Joe played great, but to single one guy out would be probably doing a disservice to the whole team," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Tight end Dennis Pitta led the team with five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Torrey Smith had two grabs for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

The offensive explosion came on a day where the running game never really got off the ground. Running back Ray Rice finished the day with 13 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown, but this time there was no complaining about how Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron should have stuck with a ground-and-pound approach.

"If we scored 55, you would have thought I had 300 yards rushing," Rice said. "But when you score 55 points, and everybody is involved, it feels pretty good."

The impressive performance comes at the right time for the Ravens, as the group struggled in recent games against the Texans and Browns.

Sunday's display demonstrated what the Ravens can do when the offense is all on the same page.

"That was like my Oregon days," tight end Ed Dickson said, referring to his alma mater's offense. "That's what this offense is capable of, is putting up that many points."

The victory continued a trend this season with the offense excelling at M&T Bank Stadium, but struggling on the road. The Ravens have put up an average of 36.8 points per game at home, compared to 17.5 on the road.

The Ravens hope to reverse that pattern next Sunday when they head to Pittsburgh to play a nationally-televised game against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

Sunday's win over Oakland gives them something build on, and the focus now will be carrying that momentum into next weekend.

"We still have to put the work in this week and go up there and play well," Flacco said. "While we played very well today, and we should be happy about it, we've got to put it behind us and move on."

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