1. Spearheaded by a dominant defense that produced six turnovers and six sacks, the Baltimore Ravens manufactured a 28-6 victory Sunday over the Oakland Raiders in their home opener at M&T Bank Stadium. It was largely because of how the defense recovered three fumbles and intercepted three passes that the Ravens were able to run their record to 2-0 for the first time since 2000, the season they won the Super Bowl. Linebacker Adalius Thomas was particularly active with seven tackles, a safety, two sacks and an interception. Plus, rush end Terrell Suggs had two sacks and middle linebacker Ray Lewis intercepted a pass. Rookie safety Dawan Landry set the tone with a jarring hit.
2. The offense was a different story altogether, scoring a touchdown on just one of its six red-zone opportunities. Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Steve McNair was inaccurate and erratic at times, completing only 16 of 33 passes for 143 yards and his first interception since joining the Ravens.
3. The Ravens committed 10 penalties for 72 yards, including center Mike Flynn’s holding flag negating a touchdown run by Musa Smith on the opening drive. Offensive tackle Tony Pashos was hit with two illegal formations in the first quarter alone and he committed a false start in the second quarter. Cornerback Chris McAlister was flagged for pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct in the fourth quarter, but Oakland wasn’t able to capitalize. Field position would have been an issue against a better team as Oakland averaged 29.4 yards on kickoff returns, including a 45-yard burst by Chris Carr.
4. McAlister limited the Raiders’ top offensive threat, combustible wide receiver Randy Moss, to two receptions for 32 yards, preventing Oakland from opening up their vertical passing game.
5. The Ravens clearly won the battle of the trenches, limiting Raiders running back Lamont Jordan to 35 yards on 19 carries. Meanwhile, Jamal Lewis gained 70 yards on 19 carries for Baltimore, which produced 138 rushing yards including a 34-yard touchdown run by Mike Anderson.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.