Baltimore racked up 430 total yards in its 44-13 victory at home Monday night over the Bengals. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw the ball around the field at will, completing 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bengals' defense didn’t have an answer the entire game. Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta caught five passes for 73 yards -- a career high -- and a touchdown.
Flacco set the stage for what could be a breakout season in the season opener.
When the game turned: Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored a touchdown to cut Baltimore’s lead to 17-10 to end the first half. Then the Bengals drove to Baltimore’s 1-yard line to open the second half but settled for a field goal. From there, it was over. Baltimore reeled off 27 unanswered points to run away with a blowout victory.
Highlight moments: Flacco’s 34-yard touchdown strike to Anquan Boldin, who slipped behind two defenders over the middle of the field, was a picture-perfect pass and couldn’t have been thrown any better. S Ed Reed’s 34-yard interception return for a touchdown sealed the deal for the Ravens and also gave Reed the all-time record for interception return yards (1,497).
- Flacco -- 21 of 29 for 299 yards, 2 TD passes, no interceptions.
- Ravens RB Ray Rice -- 10 carries, 68 yards, 2 TDs; 3 receptions, 25 yards.
- Bengals RB Green-Ellis -- 18 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD.
- Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins -- 8 receptions, 86 yards.
What they said about Flacco’s performance:
- Ravens S Ed Reed -- “This is what we’ve seen all camp with Joe, just throwing the ball to those guys, putting it right in their chest, putting it right in their hands. You see that. Those guys trust him and want to make plays for him.”
- Ravens coach John Harbaugh -- “Pay [Flacco] whatever he asks for. Right [owner] Steve [Bisciotti]? Pay the man.”
- Bengals S Taylor Mays -- “He’s a premier quarterback, and I think he showed it. He was poised and made all the big-time throws that a big-time quarterback makes.”
Numbers you should know: Despite blowing out Cincinnati 44-13, the Bengals possessed the ball for 32:26 compared to Baltimore’s 27:34.
- The Ravens won their ninth consecutive game against a divisional opponent, which is the longest streak for any team in the NFL.
- The Ravens averaged 7.4 yards per offensive play, compared to Cincinnati’s average of 4.7 yards.
Injury update: Reed strained his hamstring while diving into the end zone on his interception returned for a touchdown. Reed said it’s nothing serious and he’ll be fine. CB Corey Graham injured his leg during a special-teams play.
Going forward: The Ravens got off to a great start with a win over a divisional opponent. It puts them a game ahead over each team, with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Cleveland all losing in Week 1. In addition, the Ravens have tough tests in consecutive games with Philadelphia (away) and New England (home). Getting a win this early is a relief with the tough slate of games ahead. ... The Bengals have a lot of areas to address, specifically the secondary. S Taylor Mays was benched in favor of Jeromy Miles in the second half after a costly helmet-to-helmet hit that will likely result in a fine. Fortunately for the Bengals, a favorable matchup with the Browns awaits next week, followed by what could be a tough test the week after in Washington.