Bal­ti­more does Bron­cos fa­vor by rout­ing Mi­ami


The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By David Ginsburg

bal­ti­more» John Har­baugh had been wait­ing the en­tire sea­son for the Bal­ti­more Ravens to put it all to­gether in one mem­o­rable, out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

His pa­tience was re­warded Sun­day.

The Ravens com­bined a record-set­ting pass­ing day by Joe Flacco with a rugged de­fen­sive ef­fort in a 38-6 rout of the Mi­ami Dol­phins that aided the Bron­cos in the play­off pic­ture.

“We just did noth­ing to get us go­ing,” first-year Mi­ami coach Adam Gase lamented af­ter his team fell to 7-5, one game be­hind the Bron­cos in the AFC play­off race. “And then all of a sud­den, we’re be­hind. It’s tough to bat­tle back against a team like this.”

“It was just a heck of a team vic­tory,” Har­baugh said. “It’s some­thing that’s been in our minds, our vi­sion of how we played to­day as a team. It’s what we’re work­ing for, and it’s nice to see it hap­pen.”

Flacco threw for 381 yards and four touch­downs, and the Ravens (7-5) made it ap­par­ent early that Mi­ami’s six-game win­ning streak would not make it to seven.

Bal­ti­more built a 24-0 half­time lead be­hind the league’s se­cond-ranked de­fense and Flacco, who went 27-for-34 for 258 yards and three scores.

That was enough to pro­vide the Ravens with their fourth win in five games and at least a share of first place in the AFC North.

Flacco fin­ished with a fran­chise-record 36 com­ple­tions in 47 at­tempts, by far his most im­pres­sive out­ing in an un­even sea­son. He en­tered with 11 TD passes and 10 in­ter­cep­tions.

“It feels good to throw four touch­down passes,” Flacco said, “but at the end of the day, what does it re­ally mat­ter? As long as we win, that’s what mat­ters.”

Mi­ami didn’t score un­til Ryan Tan­nehill threw a touch­down pass in the fourth quar­ter af­ter a fum­ble recovery that started the drive at the Bal­ti­more 8.

That made it 24-6, and Flacco an­swered with a 53yard touch­down pass to Bre­shad Per­ri­man with 12:49 left.

Two of Flacco’s TD passes went to tight end Den­nis Pitta, who’s en­joy­ing a fine sea­son in his re­turn from a se­cond hip surgery. Pitta had nine catches for 90 yards and leads Bal­ti­more with 61 re­cep­tions, but he hadn’t reached the end zone since De­cem­ber 2013.

Tan­nehill went 29-for-40 for 226 yards and three in­ter­cep­tions. He was picked off only once dur­ing Mi­ami’s six-game streak.

The Ravens scored a touch­down on their first pos­ses­sion for the se­cond week in a row, mov­ing 75 yards be­fore Flacco con­nected with Ter­rance West for a 3-yard score.

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