Dennis Pitta makes return to end zone in Ravens win
— It had been nearly three years to the day since Dennis Pitta last found the end zone in an NFL game.
The tight end, who last scored on Dec. 8, 2013, celebrated Sunday by hauling in a pair of touchdowns in the first half as the Baltimore Ravens earned a 38-6 victory over the visiting Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.
The veteran tight end entered the contest having played all 12 games this season after returning from a second devastating hip injury that cost him most of the 2014 campaign and all of 2015.
“I had a couple touchdowns today, but I feel like I’ve been producing all year,” Pitta said. “I don’t think after a game like this, I say, ‘Oh, I’m back.’ I feel like I have been back since Week 1. It feels good though. I think somebody mentioned that my last touchdown was in 2013, and that was a long time ago. It feels good to get back in the end zone and obviously, to have the kind of win, and team win, and offensive production that we had today was huge.”
Pitta leads the Ravens offense with 61 receptions. He is currently third with 529 receiving yards.
“He’s been through a lot, and he’s put in work,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who had four passing touchdowns in the game. “I guess it was nice [for Pitta] to get in the end zone today. I know it feels good as a player. It feels good to throw four touchdowns passes and catch two touchdown passes, but at the end of the game, what does it really matter? As long as we win, that’s what it comes down to.”
Flacco also returned this year after suffering a season- ending knee injury last November that wiped out the remainder of the 2015 season. While the heat has been turned up in recent weeks regarding Pitta’s lack of touchdown catches this season, Flacco insisted he wasn’t trying harder than normal to find the tight end in the end zone.
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“I wish I could take credit for all that, but no. I think we probally saw things the same way on the first one. On the first one, I’m standing behind [the center], and you could tell that it was probably going to have a de-
Jacob Falko had 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals, Paul Giesing added 14 points and Ethan Wolfe chipped in cent chance of being able to hit Dennis in the middle of the field,” Flacco said. “On the second one, he’s anywhere from second, third, anywhere in the progression. I think I had a guy coming off my right side, and he
nine points for the Crusaders (2-1), who received five points, seven boards and three helpers from Ryan Rash. made me go left a little bit, and I just got the ball to him, and he did a good job getting in the end zone.
Pitta is closing on the numbers he had in 2012, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. That year, the tight end had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.
“You always want to get into the end zone. You go into every game thinking, ‘I want to be able to score a touchdown and help our team win.’ It is about zone opportunities. Finally we got down there, and we took advantage of being in the red zone and a couple of them came my way.”
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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, left, celebrates with tight end Dennis Pitta after the two connected for their second touchdown of the game, a 9-yard completion in the second quarter on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens defeated the Dolphins 38-6.