Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, left, looks for a receiver as he is pressured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Quarterback Joe Flacco tossed two touchdown passes, including a 39-yard strike to receiver Torrey Smith late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Baltimore Ravens to an easy 29-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 19 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, right, catches a touchdown pass in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 29-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The win advanced the Ravens to a 5-2 overall record, and moved them into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
It wasn’t the prettiest game for Flacco and the Ravens’ offense. The seventh-year quarterback forced two interceptions into the hands of the Falcons’ secondary, which dropped several other potential interceptions. But it was a much uglier performance for Atlanta’s offense, as Baltimore’s defense terrorized Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his unit the entire game.
Ryan faced a relentless pass-rush attack from the Ravens and was sacked five times, including one sack in his own end zone which resulted in a Baltimore safety. Atlanta was held scoreless for three-and-half quarters, scoring their first and only touchdown at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter. By then, Baltimore had already scored 20 points and faced no threat of a potential Falcons’ comeback. Thesack for a safety by Ravens’ linebacker Terrell Suggs and a 39-yard touchdown pass and catch between Flacco and Smith gave Baltimore an even larger cushion.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, bottom left, in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Flacco completed 16 of 25 passes for 258 passing yards and two touchdowns. Smith had a team-high 81 receiving yards on three catches and veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. added three more catches for 67 yards, including a 49-yard play. Veteran tight end Owen Daniels led Baltimore in catches with six for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Ravens’ running back Justin Forsett had a game-high 95 rushing yards, with 4.1 yards per carry on 23 carries; Bernard Pierce backed Forsett up with eight carries for 21 yards and a touchdown.
Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce, bottom center, falls into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Matt Ryan completed 29 of 44 passes for 228 passing yards and a touchdown. One of Ryan’s passes was lobbed right into the hands of Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, but the star defensive back let the ball bounce right off his fingertips, blowing the opportunity for an easy interception.
Falcons veteran receiver Roddy White led his team with nine catches for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Next-up: the Ravens (5-2 overall, 2-1 AFC North) will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals (3-2-1 overall, 1-0 AFC North) at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 26.Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.