The Ravens made back up quarterback Sage Rosenfels' second start of the season miserable, as he threw four interceptions in Baltimore's dominating 41-13 win over the Houston Texans.
Sunday's four-interception showing was the Ravens' highest tally of the season, besting their three thefts in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns.
It was a sound dismantling of a pass offense that came into the game as the NFL's fifth-best unit, and Ngata attributed much of that success to pressure on Rosenfels from the front seven.
"We knew if we got pressure on him we would get some opportunities to get some picks," Ngata said. "When I got pretty close to get some picks, it was big. It was definitely needed to put pressure on him to get those picks."
"We saw a lot of us closing in on the pocket, pushing that pocket in. We are definitely working a lot on that and it's showing."
Ngata's interception, his second of the year, came first at a critical moment in the opening quarter.
The Texans had marched all the way to Baltimore's 1-yard line, but on first-and-goal, Ngata tipped a Rosenfels pass intended for tight end Owen Daniels to himself, gaining possession as he hit the turf in the end zone.
"I just looked up, saw the ball and caught it," Ngata explained. "I didn't know who or what hit me or was around me so I just went down. I didn't want to make a mistake or anything."
Ngata made his presence felt later in the third quarter when he burst through the offensive line to get at Rosenfels as the eight-year veteran released the football, which went directly to Lewis and killed any Houston momentum.
"Ray on defense made huge plays for us," said head coach John Harbaugh. "The interception with Haloti Ngata was big."
When Lewis caught an overthrown attempt to Andre Johnson in the fourth quarter, it marked his third career two-interception day, the last coming in 2001.
And while Ngata's and Lewis' contributions were timely and game-changing, Rolle's may have been the most poignant.
After missing the last six games because of a neck injury that required surgery, Rolle was back in the starting lineup Sunday.
Rolle simply jumped in front of Johnson with 6:17 left in the game for his 30th career interception, setting up the final touchdown to cap 22 fourth-quarter points.
In the post-game locker room, Rolle was his typically subdued self, preferring to defer credit to his teammates and defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
"When we stick together and everybody does their job and listens to Rex, we're hard to beat," Rolle said.
Any team that logs multiple-pick outings, is going to be hard to beat. The Ravens just seem to have a knack for it.
Hauschka Nails One
In only his second-ever NFL game, Steve Hauschka showed the big leg that compelled the Ravens to keep this former NC State and Division III Middlebury College kicker on the active roster.
Hauschka booted a 54-yard field goal near the end of the second quarter, sneaking the ball over the crossbar.
Not only was it his first-career kick, it was the second-longest in Ravens history.
"I didn't hit it good, but I didn't hit it bad," said Hauschka, who walked-on for NC State as a graduate student. "It probably wouldn't have been good from 56."
Hauschka was also the first Ravens kicker to attempt a field goal other than Matt Stover since Aaron Elling missed a 54-yarder against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005.
Stover later came out to attempt a 50-yard try, but was low and drastically to the left.
Mason Shoulders Responsibility
Derrick Mason's first-quarter spill caused many Ravens fans to gasp, as the 10-year veteran came crashing to the Reliant Stadium turf and landing directly on his left shoulder.
Mason laid on the field as Baltimore's medical team attended to him. He jogged to the sideline, but it was uncertain if he would return.
But, watching a prolific offensive performance left Mason with a strong desire to get back in the game.
He came back in the third quarter and immediately caught 9- and 11-yard passes on the Ravens' first post-halftime scoring drive.
"You've got to help the team," he said. "If I can run, I can help the team. This thing wasn't unbearable. I just had to go out there and be smart about it. There were a couple of times where I could have possibly gotten some more yardage, but I stepped out of bounds. I'm just out there trying to help the team as much as possible."
Mason, who finished with 41 yards on three grabs, has a dislocated shoulder, which he'll monitor in practice this week.
"There's a lot of people that play with it, but my situation is a little bit different because I'm a receiver," stated Mason. "So, we'll see how it feels tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the week and we'll determine the rest from there."
In rookie quarterback Joe Flacco's first four games this year, his longest pass was 35 yards. Over the past five weeks, he now has longs of 54, 40, 70, 47 and 43 yards, respectively. Flacco finished the game 15-of-23 (65 percent completion percentage) for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. …* *Stover tied the NFL record for consecutive made extra point attempts with his 371st in a row. Stover tied Denver's Jason Elam and former St. Louis's Jeff Wilkins with his final extra point of the game.