The Baltimore Ravens didn’t let last week’s disappointing loss to the Tennessee Titans linger too long as they blew out the St. Louis Rams, 37-7 on the road at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, in week 3 on Sept. 25. The Ravens showed off their new explosive passing game, ripping the Rams’ defense for 553 offensive yards, nearly 400 yards gained through the air. Baltimore leaped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and went into halftime with a 27-0 lead. They wouldn’t relinquish their lead.

Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game:
Ravens fourth-year quarterback Joe Flacco bounced back from his poor performance against the Titans last Sunday by putting up career numbers against the Rams. Flacco completed 27-of-48 passes for a career-high 389 yards and three touchdowns.

All three of his touchdown passes were caught in the first quarter by rookie Torrey Smith, a 6-foot-2-inch speedster drafted in the second round out of University of Maryland-College Park. Smith was handpicked by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome because of his ability to stretch the field with his vertical speed. He got off to a slow start this season, failing to catch a pass in the first two weeks of play. But the rookie was pushed into a starter’s role this week because of an injury to veteran receiver Lee Evans. Smith made the best of his starting debut, finishing with five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

Unsung Hero of the Game:
The Ravens had their way with the Rams on offense, thanks in part to the strong play of the offensive line. Starting Pro Bowl left guard Ben Grubbs had to sit out because of an injury, but backup center Andre Gurode stepped in for him and played well. Gurode was named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last five years while playing center for the Dallas Cowboys, but he proved today that he can fill in at other positions on the offensive front when needed.

More Game Notes:
Ravens’ running back Ray Rice had a stellar performance, rushing for 79 yards on just eight carries. He also caught five passes for 83 yards. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin led the team with seven catches for 74 yards.

Rams’ second-year quarterback Sam Bradford was limited to just 166 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Next Up:
The Ravens now head back to Baltimore to host the New York Jets (2-1 overall) in a Sunday Night Football showdown at 8:20 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor