Joe Flacco passed for 258 yards and the game’s only touchdown pass to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a 13-7 win over the Buffalo Bills in the 2016 NFL season opening weekend on Sept. 11 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) passes the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) passes the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

It was Flacco’s first regular season action since tearing his MCL in Week 10 of the 2015 season. The nine-year veteran quarterback started off the game hot, hitting seven different Ravens receivers in the first quarter alone. He completed 13-of-19 passes for 188 yards in the first half, including a 66-yard touchdown pass to newly acquired speed receiver Mike Wallace.

But Buffalo’s defensive unit, led by defensive mastermind and Bills head coach Rex Ryan, tightened up in the second half and limited Flacco to just 70 passing yards through the final third and fourth quarters.

The Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills face off across the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Fortunately for the Ravens, their defense was even better than Buffalo’s, holding the Bills scoreless in the second half. Veteran defensive back Shareece Wright wreaked havoc all over the field with a game-high 11 solo tackles.

Bills star quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who played backup behind Flacco in Baltimore for three years, was limited to just 15-of-22 passes completed for 111 passing yards. Running back LeSean McCoy scored Buffalo’s only points of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace looks back at Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams (27) as he runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Receiver Steve Smith Sr. led the Ravens with five catches, while Mike Wallace caught for a team-high 91 yards. Second-year receiver Breshad Perriman made a spectacular 35-yard catch in his regular season debut as a Raven.

Next: Baltimore (1-0) will head to Cleveland to take on its AFC North rival Browns (0-1) on Sept. 18.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor