Pass-happy Ravens cruise past Giants 24-10
BALTIMORE (AP)—The Baltimore Ravens’ objective on offense this season appears to be eradicating all forms of predicability.
“The good news is it is not a season-ending injury,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll get it operated on right away and put a screw in it. Hopefully, we’ll get him back by the bye week (Oct. 31).”
Flacco completed 21 of 34 passes before leaving after one series in the third quarter. Last year, he threw as many as 34 passes only seven times for a team that relied heavily on the run.
This year, there’s no telling what Baltimore will do when it gets its hands on the ball.
“As an offense, we want to make sure defenses don’t dictate what we do. We want to make sure we dictate what the defense does,” wide receiver Derrick Mason(notes) said. “If that means we go out there and throw the ball 30 times, it’s not because we want to, but because we can.”
Going without a huddle and often throwing on first down, the Ravens (3-0) scored 17 points over three straight possessions in the first half and coasted to their seventh consecutive preseason win.
New York (1-2) managed only five first downs in the pivotal first half. Returning after a one-week absence, quarterback Eli Manning(notes) went 9 for 18 for 63 yards and an interception in 30 minutes of play.
“He needs to play. He’s got to be in the middle of it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “He did some things well, but he obviously was rusty.”
Manning last played on Aug. 16, when he received stitches to his forehead after taking a hard hit in a game against the New York Jets.
“As a quarterback, I always think it’s important to get back out on the field and get used to getting hit again, have live movement and have people chasing you,” Manning said. “It was good to get back out there. There are some things I know I have to improve on.”
The defense was even worse.
“We didn’t stop them, we really didn’t consistently pressure the quarterback, they threw and catched,” Coughlin said. “They isolated our corners out there and they beat us.”
That was arguably the one glaring flaw in Flacco’s solid performance. The third-year quarterback connected with five different receivers—throwing touchdowns to newcomer Anquan Boldin(notes) and old hand Todd Heap(notes)—and ran for a team-high 16 yards.
“We had a good tempo going tonight, we got in a groove and we were able to march the ball down the field,” Flacco said. “I really feel good about how we were doing things.”
The Ravens passed 32 times in the first half, ran only 11 times and amassed 17 first downs and 243 yards.
“They hit us with the no-huddle and it kind of hurried the game,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck(notes) said. “We made some plays, but there’s still a lot of work for us to get this defense where we want it to be.”
After Baltimore scored a field goal on its second possession, New York moved from its 11 to the Baltimore 15 before Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) was stuffed three straight times in a bid to gain one yard and a first down.
Flacco promptly moved the Ravens the other way, completing five straight passes to begin a drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Boldin on fourth-and-3. Flacco went 6 for 7 for 67 yards on the 11-play march.
After the Giants punted, Flacco again deftly moved the Ravens downfield. Beginning at the Baltimore 23, he completed five consecutive passes to start the drive. Then, after a run by Le’Ron McClain(notes), Heap got in front of New York safety Antrel Rolle(notes) for an 11-yard catch on a fourth-and-2 from the New York 36.
Three plays later, Rolle was called for a hit to the helmet on receiver Mark Clayton(notes), a penalty that gave the Ravens a first down at the New York 13. Heap then made a leaping catch in the end zone in front of Rolle for a 17-0 lead.
Clayton sustained a mild concussion on Rolle’s hit and sat out the rest of the game.