Baltimore Ravens vs Atlanta Falcons: Game Recap


Oct 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Two offensive juggernauts met in Baltimore Sunday, but the shootout many predicted never materialized as the Baltimore Ravens steamrolled the Atlanta Falcons 29-7.

The Ravens got started immediately, holding the Atlanta Falcons to a three-and-out then marching down the field for a touchdown on their first drive. Owen Daniels finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown grab in traffic.

The two teams traded punts and turnovers for the rest of the first quarter and much of the second. A methodical nine-play, 59-yard drive extended the Ravens lead to 14, with Bernard Pierce producing the one-yard touchdown run that capped the drive.

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The Ravens got the ball back with 37 seconds left in the second half thanks to a missed 57-yard field goal by Matt Bryant, and they aggressively marched down the field to cap the first half with a 38-yard Justin Tucker field goal, making the half-time score 17-0.

Defense continued to carry the Ravens in the third quarter. Despite scoring just a field goal, this one another 38-yarder from Tucker, the Ravens defense continued to pitch a shut out and keep the Falcons out of the game. The score after three: 20-0.

With the game seemingly in hand, the Ravens took their foot off the gas pedal, allowing a long touchdown drive to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The pass rush consistently failed to get to Matt Ryan on the drive, as he methodically picked apart the Ravens’ conservative coverages.

Terrell Suggs and the Ravens pass rush made sure that didn’t happen twice, pushing the Falcons back on their next drive. Suggs capped off the nightmare drive for the Falcons by bringing down Matt Ryan for a safety to make the score 22-7.

Jacoby Jones had a nice return on the safety kick, setting the Ravens up in great field position. After three short runs, the Ravens stunningly elected to go for it on fourth down, resulting in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Torrey Smith and the final score of 29-7.

Offensively, the Ravens struggled at against a poor Atlanta defense. The Ravens averaged a paltry 3.4 yards per carry despite a productive day from Justin Forsett (23 carries, 95 yards). There was no consistency in the ground game, which contributed to the Ravens inability to put the Falcons away early in the fourth quarter.

Despite the lack of production on the ground, the Ravens stuck with the ground game, which proved a good move. The Ravens ran the ball a whopping 36 times, compared to just 26 called passes.

Part of that may have been because of a strange day by Joe Flacco, who threw too many risky passes but also had some remarkable throws. His final stat line (16-of-25, 258 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) wasn’t bad, and his final pass to Torrey Smith was a work of art. The interceptions stand out, however.

Worst of all, the offensive line struggled mightily against a mediocre Falcons pass rush. Flacco was constantly under duress, though he did a good job getting the ball out. Flacco was only sacked once, but he was under pressure on almost every pass.

The defense made up for an inconsistent offensive showing, though, with the pass rush taking top billing. Elvis Dumervil and Pernell McPhee both had two sacks, while Terrell Suggs had the aforementioned safety on his lone sack.

Matt Ryan never had a chance, looking lost against the Ravens’ onslaught of pass rushers. Taking a safety and coughing up a fumble were lowlights for Ryan.

The Ravens’ coverage was also better in this game. Outside of the late touchdown, the Ravens had the Falcons completely locked down in coverage, with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb especially excelling.

In sum, the Ravens dictated the action against the Falcons, and it showed on the score board. This was a great win for the 5-2 Ravens, who have a crucial divisional match up with the Cincinnati Bengals next week.