The Baltimore Ravens struck first in their bitter rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice led the way to a stunning 35-7 win. This was the first time in eight starts that Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roetheisberger lost to the Ravens.
Baltimore's offense needed three plays and a ninety seconds of clock time to strike first. Ray Rice broke off a 36-yard to set up a 27-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Anquan Boldin. After that series, the two teams got back to the gritty kind of play that defines what might be the best rivalry in the NFL, for a little while anyway.
Before the end of the first quarter Baltimore added another seven points to the scoreboard. Ray Rice had a touchdown overturned by review - the ruling was that he was down by contact - before punching it in again two plays later.
Roethlisberger struggled, throwing three interceptions to go with a single touchdown, 280 passing yards and a 54 percent completion rate. Mike Wallace topped 100 receiving yards on the day, but the Steelers struggled to run the ball against the Ravens' defense.
Speaking of the Ravens defense, they deserve credit for a very good game. Ed Reed had two interceptions; Ray Lewis had an interception and a forced fumble. Both veterans had six tackles. Linebacker Terrell Suggs rounded out the trio of veteran super performances for the Ravens with three sacks on Roethlisberger.
Billed as one of the most exciting games of the season, the final score deflated that notion. Expect a real battle when these two teams meet again in week 9, at Pittsburgh.