Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looks for a receiver against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Joe Flacco tossed a career-high five touchdown passes as the Baltimore Ravens routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-17, on Oct. 12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro (15) catches a pass for a 19-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Baltimore (4-2) put on an offensive show from the very start, scoring 28 unanswered points in the first quarter alone, all passing touchdowns by Flacco. The seventh-year quarterback hooked up with speedy receiver Torrey Smith for the first score of the game, a 15-yard touchdown pass and catch that capped off a scoring drive that took only 1 minute, 49 seconds to complete. Smith also caught Flacco’s second touchdown pass of the game, a nine-yard hookup.
On the next Ravens’ possession, Flacco found rookie receiver Kameer Aiken for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Flacco later targeted rookie receiver Michael Campanaro for a 19-yard touchdown just one second before the first quarter ended to set the score at 28-0.
But Flacco wasn’t done yet. He made NFL history by launching a 56-yard touchdown bomb to veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr., giving Baltimore a 35-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter. That score made Flacco the fastest quarterback to throw five touchdowns since the NFL-AFL merger with a record time of 16 minutes and three seconds. He broke Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s record, who ironically had set the record against the Ravens back in 2007 with a time of 26:09.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) flies through the air as he catches a 56-yard touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Baltimore went on cruise control the rest of the way, scoring just 13 points throughout the rest of the game. Tampa Bay (1-5) scored 17 points in the second half, but never threatened the Ravens’ huge lead.
Flacco finished with 21-of-29 pass attempts completed for 306 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions and a new career-high passer rating of 146.0. Smith Sr. led the team with five catches for 110 yards, and recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season.
Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) pushes his way past Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (23) for a touchdown on a 4-yard run during the second half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Ravens veteran running back Justin Forsett ran for a game-high 110 yards on 14 carries; running back Bernard Pierce backed him up with 15 carries for 32 yards and also scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley led the Ravens with eight tackles, including six solo efforts, and cornerback Jimmy Smith made an impressive interception along with five tackles.
Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon completed 24 of 44 pass attempts for 314 yards, though most of his yards came after the score was severely lopsided; he tossed two touchdowns and a pick.
Baltimore will host the Atlanta Falcons (2-3) at M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.