In what was one of the most surprising one-sided victories of the season so far, the Pittsburgh Steelers lose 35-7 in the opening game of the year for both clubs. Dominating the Steelers on both sides of the ball from the very get-go, taking a early 21-7 lead into halftime. It this team can continue this kind of play all year, finding Ravens tickets could get difficult.
Baltimore scored touchdowns on two of its first three drives, moving the ball a total of 103 yards on the combined drives. In their first series of the season, Joe Flacco led his unit and went 66 yards in just three plays. Using a 36 yard run from Ray Rice and finishing it with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Flacco to star receiver Anquan Boldin. The Ravens defense was stifling all game long, putting pressure on Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and containing his running game. The Ravens held the Steelers to just one successful drive in the first half, forcing three punts and one fumble on its other possessions. After the Steelers second punt of the game, a three and out, the Ravens came back with their second score by using a short field. Another long pass from Flacco, this time 29 yards, started the drive. The Ravens needed just two more plays to get a two touchdown lead on the defending AFC champions.
While Baltimore was dominant in the first half, somewhat of a surprise given the two team’s long history and the fact that the Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Ravens were even more dominant in the second half. Baltimore’s defense created a total of five turnovers, harassing Roethlisberger into poor decisions and wild scrambles that led him directly into the teeth of the Ravens defense that features Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Ravens sacked Roethlisberger four times but he pressured him five more, causing him to fumble twice — both of which were lost. As per usual, Baltimore was led by its aforementioned stars Lewis and Reed, who combined for a staggering three interceptions, including two from Reed, one of the best ball hawks in NFL history. While Lewis led the vaunted Ravens’ line backing core and Reed the secondary, defensive end and outside linebacker Terrel Suggs led its pass rush. Suggs, the once great pass rusher for the ASU Sun Devils who’s etched out a career as a rush specialist with Baltimore, added three sacks in the contest.
As a unit, Baltimore held Pittsburgh to just over 300 yards. Offensively, much of the damage was done in the first half, though the Ravens were able to milk the clock in the second. Flacco finished with three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 117.6, while the elusive yet deceptively powerful running back Ray Rice finished with 107 yards on over five yards per carry. The Ravens top receiver was Boldin who finished with 74 yards, though Flacco distributes the wealth, even finding new tight end target Ed Dickson, an Oregon graduate, five times for close to 60 yards. The two rivals typically play hard-fought, low scoring games, and the blow-out in week one is unlikely to occur again should the two teams meet in the playoffs as they so often seem to do. Make sure you their for the next time they blow out their rivals by buying your Ravens tickets now!