The Ravens offense triumphs over the Panthers in a decisive 38-10 win at M&T Bank Stadium. As Baltimore took the field a familiar teammate of Cam Newton and company, was getting geared up to face his former team that employed him for 13 seasons. WR Steve Smith Sr. complied 139 receiving yards on seven receptions finishing with two touchdowns against Carolina.
Smith Sr. shined against the Panthers, and proved that he still has talent and the athletic ability to get past anybody. His first TD on the day set the tone for the rest of game as he caught a pass that was tipped by Owen Daniels, and bolted to the end zone for 61-yard touchdown. Smith Sr. reflected on his day and facing the Panthers secondary. “I’m 35 years old, and I ran around them boys like they were school-yard kids.”
QB Joe Flacco would finish with a total of 327 passing yards and 3 TD’s. After posting a total of 454 yards offense in the game, everything seems to be coming into focus for the Ravens. After the team cut ties with former RB Ray Rice, Dennis Pitta re-injured the same hip that kept him out eight games in 2013, and will keep him sidelined for the rest of 2014. Regardless, they continue to find ways to win. That is one of the main reasons Smith Sr. decided to come to the charm city and play football for the Purple and Black.
“[The Ravens] have two [Super Bowls], Carolina has zero. I know I went to public school, but two plus zero, I’ll take that. They understand. They know, and they have the recipe. It says a lot without even saying anything,” Smith Sr. said.
Flacco displayed the ability expected from a Super Bowl MVP, setting a record for passer-rating at 137.4, and with the victory on Sunday, that gives him 41 regular season wins at home, the most among NFL starting QB’s since he entered the league in 2008.
“It would be great to be able to play like this every week. I think that we have the ability to do it. It’s not like we’re doing anything complicated out there. We’re going out, and we’re playing football and doing what we’re supposed to do. I’d say, yes, this is what it’s supposed to look like, and we just have to make sure to continue to do it.”
Gary Kubiak’s offense looked smooth as the Ravens mounted five TD drives, three passing, and two came on the ground, but Sunday was Smith Sr.’s day. Even though he was in a different uniform, he came out of the tunnel, and played as hard if not harder against his old team and is making the most of his chance with the Ravens. His quarterback expressed how much the offense benefits with having Smith Sr. on their side.
“The most important thing is that he can catch footballs and score touchdowns and keep us on the field. It’s really simple. He’s a good football player. Anytime you bring in someone else who can play football, your team gets better,” Flacco said.
Since 2002 – Ravens are 21-2 Vs. The NFC In Baltimore
As the Ravens finish the first quarter of the regular season at 3-1 this marks the fifth time under head coach John Harbaugh (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2014) that the team started 3-1 – all seasons Baltimore went on to earn a playoff berth.
Next four out of five games for the Ravens will be on the road, Colts, Buccaneers, Steelers, and Bengals.