Recapping the Ravens’ season

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The Ravens trounced the defending AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 35-7, at M&T Bank Stadium to open the season.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times; Ray Rice rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, also catching one touchdown. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 17 of 29 passes for 224 yards and three touchdown passes with no interceptions for a 117.6 passer rating. Free safety Ed Reed intercepted two passes, and middle linebacker Ray Lewis intercepted one more for Baltimore.

The Ravens began their trend of troubling road losses, falling 26-13 to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field to drop to 1-1 for the season. The Ravens had trouble containing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who completed 30 of 42 passes for 358 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a 95.1 passer rating.

Cornerback Domonique Foxworth struggled in coverage against Titans receiver Kenny Britt. Britt caught nine passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, and Nate Washington caught seven passes for 99 yards. The Ravens abandoned the run as Ray Rice only rushed for 43 yards on 13 carries. The lone bright spot was his 31-yard touchdown on a swing pass from Joe Flacco.

The Ravens blew out the St. Louis Rams, 37-7, at Edward Jones Dome. They set a team record with 553 yards of total offense as Joe Flacco set a career-high with 389 passing yards. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, in his first NFL start, caught three touchdown passes in the first quarter on his first three NFL receptions.

The former University of Maryland standout caught scoring passes from 74, 41 and 18 yards to become the first rookie in NFL history to catch three touchdowns in the first quarter of a game. Ray Rice rushed for 81 yards on nine carries, including a 53-yard run. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata scored on a 28-yard fumble return to cap the scoring.

The Ravens (2-1) humbled former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, defeating the New York Jets, 34-17, at M&T Bank Stadium. Inside linebacker Jameel McClain scored on a fumble recovery as free safety Ed Reed sacked Mark Sanchez and forced the turnover. Lardarius Webb returned a Sanchez interception for a touchdown.The Ravens allowed a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Joe McKnight, but this game was never close. Jarret Johnson scored on a 26-yard fumble return.

It wasn’t a sharp game for Joe Flacco, who had an interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker David Harris. Flacco completed only 10 of 31 passes for 163 yards and no touchdowns.

The Ravens defeated the Houston Texans, 29-14, at M&T Bank Stadium as they contained star running back Arian Foster. They improved to 4-1. An NFL rushing champion in 2010, Foster was held to 49 yards on 15 carries.

Ray Rice rushed for 101 yards on 23 carries. Joe Flacco completed 20 of 33 passes for 305 yards. He connected with Anquan Boldin eight times for 132 yards.

The Ravens sacked Matt Schaub four times with one apiece from Ray Lewis, Jarret Johnson, Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee.

Before a national audience, the Ravens were embarrassed against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 12-7, to lose their second road game of the year. The defeat at EverBank Field was lowlighted by Ray Rice rushing for only 28 yards on eight carries.

The Ravens dropped to 4-2 and didn’t score until there were two minutes left in the fourth quarter on Joe Flacco’s touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.

It was too late, though.

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed only 9 of 20 passes for 93 yards, but had no interceptions while running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 1095 yards on 30 carries.

Quarterback Joe Flacco engineered a comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals, a 30-27 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens improved to 5-2. It was the biggest comeback win in franchise history after Baltimore fell behind 24-3 in the second quarter as they allowed Patrick Peterson to return a punt for a touchdown.

Flacco completed 31 of 51 passes for 336 yards. Running back Ray Rice rushed for 63 yards and three short touchdown runs. Anquan Boldin caught seven passes for 146 yards.

The Ravens swept the annual series with the Steelers, defeating them, 23-20, on a last-second 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith at Heinz Field.

Flacco completed 28 of 47 passes for 300 yards.

The Ravens limited Rashard Mendenhall to52 yards. Ben Roethlisberger nearly outdueled Flacco, passing for 330 yards. However, Flacco’s last-minute comeback put it away for Baltimore. Billy Cundiff kicked three field goals. Terrell Suggs intercepted one pass.

The Ravens improved to 6-2.

After a big win over the Steelers the previous week, the Ravens lost their third road game of the season. This time, it was a 22-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Kick returner David Reed lost two fumbles, losing his job as the Ravens’ primary kickoff returner. Ray Rice rushed for only 27 yards on five carries. Joe Flacco launched 52 passes, but completed 29 of them for just 255 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Ed Dickson caught 10 passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 yards on 32 carries. Middle linebacker Ray Lewis suffered a turf toe injury that would sideline him for the next four games.

With the loss, Baltimore dropped to 6-3.

Playing without Ray Lewis, the Ravens still managed to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 31-24, at M&T Bank Stadium.  Ray Rice rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, catching five passes for 43 yards. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith caught six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 270 yards on 17 of 27 accuracy for two touchdowns. Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 373 yards, but was intercepted three times.

The Ravens improved to 7-3 for the season.

Winning the so-called “Harbaugh Bowl,” as Ravens coach John Harbaugh and his brother, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, became the first coaching brothers to square off in an NFL game, Baltimore beat up on San Francisco, 16-6, at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens improved to 8-3 for the season.

The defense sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith nine times to tie a franchise record. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had three sacks and defensive end Cory Redding had 2 1/2 sacks. The Ravens bottled up running back Frank Gore, limiting him to 39 yards on 14 carries.

Ray Rice rushed for 59 yards against a stout 49ers defense. Billy Cundiff kicked three field goals. Tight end Dennis Pitta caught the lone touchdown for the Ravens.

The Ravens easily defeated the Cleveland Browns, 24-10, on the road.

They improved to 9-3 for the season.

Ray Rice rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 29 carries. Cornerback Lardarius Webb returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. The Ravens held running back Peyton Hillis 45 yards on 12 carries.

Joe Flacco completed just 10 of 23 passes for 158 yards, but the Ravens didn’t need to throw much to win. Colt McCoy completed 17 of 35 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Ravens kept the Indianapolis Colts from pulling off an upset with a routine win at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens improved to 10-3 with the 24-10 win.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had three sacks. Ray Rice rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith caught a touchdown pass. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 23 of 31 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

Dan Orlovsky completed 17 of 37 passes for 136 yards, throwing a late touchdown pass.

The Ravens won their ninth consecutive game at home and improved to 7-0 for the season at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens stumbled badly against the San Diego Chargers with no answers for quarterback Philip Rivers during a 34-14 loss at Snapdragon Stadium.

The Ravens fell to 10-4 for the season.

Rivers completed 17 of 23 passes for 270 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught five passes for 98 yards and wide receiver Vincent Jackson caught three passes for 84 yards. The Ravens missed cornerback Lardarius Webb’s presence as he was limited to a handful of snaps due to a toe injury suffered against the Colts.

Running back Ryan Mathews rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns as middle linebacker Ray Lewis didn’t have his normal mobility in his first game back from a toe injury.

The Ravens turned in a shaky performance against the Cleveland Browns during a 20-14 win at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens (11-4) went undefeated at home for the first time in franchise history despite allowing Peyton Hillis to run for 112 yards on 24 carries.

Tight end Ed Dickson caught a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to open the scoring. Running back Ray Rice scored on a 42-yard pass from Flacco. Flacco was inaccurate, though, completing just 11 of 24 passes for 132 yards and one interception. Rice rushed for 87 yards on 23 carries as Ricky Williams rushed for 45 more on 10 carries. Cornerback Lardarius Webb intercepted his team-high fifth pass of the season.

The Ravens finished the regular season with a 12-4 record as they claimed the AFC North division title with a 24-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

The victory gave the Ravens their first division crown since 2006, a first-round bye and the second seed in the AFC for the playoffs.

Ray Rice rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70-yard run in the first quarter. He rushed for a career-high 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season. Joe Flacco completed 15 of 19 passes for 130 yards.

Andy Dalton threw 44 passes for 22 completions and 232 yards with no interceptions or touchdown passes.

Ricky Williams eclipsed the 10,000 rushing yards mark for his career. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs forced tight end Jermaine Gresham to fumble late in the game. It was his franchise record seventh of the season.

Tight end Dennis Pitta caught a game-high six passes for 62 yards and one touchdown. Returning from a left calf injury, Billy Cundiff made a 42-yard field goal. Offensive guard Marshal Yanda played through bruised ribs and a surgically-repaired leg.

The Ravens edged the Houston Texans, 20-13, in an AFC divisional playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens (13-4) forced four turnovers and committed none of their own.

They weren’t called for a single penalty. They intercepted Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates three times, including two from Lardarius Webb to tie a Ravens franchise postseason record.

The Ravens had trouble with the Texans’ defense, allowing 20 tackles and five sacks to outside linebacker Brooks Reed and defensive end J.J. Watt. Arian Foster rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, but the Ravens slowed him down in the second half when the game was decided.

In his first game back after minor knee surgery, Anquan Boldin caught a touchdown pass. He finished with four receptions for 73 yards. Joe Flacco completed only 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards, but threw two touchdown passes with no interceptions.

The Ravens suffered a devastating loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

The 23-20 defeat was keyed by a dropped pass in the end zone by wide receiver Lee Evans in the final minute as well as kicker Billy Cundiff flubbing a potential game-tying field goal in the final seconds.

Evans failed to secure an accurate pass as it was ripped out of his hands by cornerback Sterling Moore.

Cundiff hooked a 32-yard kick wide left. The operation appeared to be rushed as many have questioned why the Ravens didn’t call a timeout to allow Cundiff time to get lined up properly. The scoreboard clock was one down behind, but Cundiff and the Ravens haven’t attributed that as the reason for the loss.

Quarterback Joe Flacco outplayed Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, passing for 306 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brady was intercepted twice, once by Lardarius Webb and another time by Jimmy Smith. However, he did rush for one touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the Patriots ahead.

The Patriots contained running back Ray Rice. The Ravens had trouble blocking massive defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who finished with six tackles and a sack.

The Ravens finished 13-5, one game shy of reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since they won the Vince Lombardi trophy after the 2000 season.

 
 
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About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best...more

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