USA Today

Baltimore Ravens Rout Buffalo Bills in 47-3 Season Opening Win

September 09, 2018 - 5:07 pm
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By Joe Schiller

Facing the Buffalo Bills – a team that inched the Baltimore Ravens – for the sixth and final playoff spot one season ago, the Ravens got their revenge.

They dominated in virtually every aspect of the game in a 47-3 blowout over the Bills to start off the season with a win.

The game wasn’t close from the start and it stayed that way throughout.

Flacco and the offense marched down the field on a 10-play, 80-yard opening drive that was capped off by an 8-yard rushing touchdown by Alex Collins. Besides the touchdown, Collins was relatively quiet on the ground and amassed just 13 yards on seven carries.

On a day where heavy rains poured at M&T Bank Stadium, it was Joe Flacco and the passing offense that led the way.

Flacco was close to perfect under center, going 25-of-34 for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Each of the Ravens’ new free agent wide receivers found the end zone and Flacco’s throw to Michael Crabtree over the shoulder of cornerback E.J. Gaines was pristine. A passing unit that averaged a mere 189.4 yards through the air last season looked much improved. 

Flacco and the offense exceeded expectations while Don Martindales’ defense completely suffocated Nathan Peterman and the Bills, as expected. The unit allowed just 153 total yards (70 passing, 83 rushing), totaled six sacks and intercepted Peterman twice. Za’Darius Smith, C.J. Mosley and Maurice Canady led the way with nine tackles apiece as all three levels of the defense were impressive. Peterman looked no different than his struggles last season and was rightfully replaced by rookie Josh Allen.

The Ravens took a 26-0 lead into halftime and by midway through the third quarter, two rookie quarterbacks were on the field. Lamar Jackson made his debut in motion during the first quarter but was a mere distraction. He saw more consistent playing time in the second half and went 1-for-4 with 24 passing yards. Most of his damage on the ground, totaling 39 yards on seven carries.

A game that felt more like a sixth preseason matchup couldn’t have come at a better time for head coach John Harbaugh. He was able to rest his starters and avoid injuries as the Ravens have a short week before facing the Cincinnati Bengals on the road Thursday night.

If the Ravens can replicate similar success, there’s no reason they shouldn’t find themselves at the top of the division at 2-0 come next weekend.