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Baltimore at St. Louis

Rookie WR's three scores help Ravens whip Rams

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- This NFL thing, it's no big deal for Torrey Smith. In their dreams, the St. Louis Rams' secondary will be chasing the rookie wide receiver who registered barely a blip on the scouting report.

Smith caught long touchdown passes from Joe Flacco totaling 133 yards on his first three career receptions, a huge first half that sparked a franchise record-setting day on offense by the Baltimore Ravens in a 37-7 rout of the defenseless St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

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"I've been playing football forever and I've been making plays forever," Smith said. "Having a game like this, it proves to other people that haven't seen me play, it lets them know I can play."

The Ravens (2-1) got back on their game and then some after stumbling in a loss at Tennessee last week. The 406-yard first half that fueled a 27-point cushion, and the game total of 553 yards, were both bests for the franchise that moved from Cleveland in 1996.

Baltimore also sacked Sam Bradford five times.

"I'm proud of the way we attacked, really in all three phases," coach John Harbaugh. "I like the way Joe got after it. Torrey Smith, what can you say? You talk about a breakout performance in the first quarter, that's pretty historic right there."

St. Louis (0-3) finally got on the scoreboard with Brandon Gibson's 34-yard catch late in the third quarter. Haloti Ngata wrapped up a thorough whipping with a 28-yard fumble return after Ray Lewis stripped Bradford on a sack late in the fourth quarter. By then, the Edward Jones Dome was virtually empty.

"I don't have an explanation," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I wish I did. If I had, I would have solved it at halftime, but I don't."

CBSSports.com Grades
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
A-
The offense was balanced with nearly 400 passing yards and over 160 rushing yards. The defense shut down the Rams offense, especially in the first half, and recorded five sacks while creating constant pressure. Rookie WR Torrey Smith scored long TDs on each of his first three NFL receptions.
St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams
F
The Rams offense was anemic with QB Sam Bradford under constant pressure. The Rams were outgained 553-244 and had just 81 total yards at halftime while trailing 27-0. Several penalties squelched would-be promising drives and there were again a few drops by the receivers.
By Ron Clements
RapidReports Correspondent

Flacco was 27 for 48 for a career-high 389 yards, 192 more than last week. This, he said, was more like it.

"Hey, we came out and attacked today," Flacco said. "Is the goal getting to the playoffs for us? No, we know we can do that. The goal is to win the Super Bowl."

Spagnuolo expected more of a conservative, pound-it-out approach from the Ravens.

"They came in with a little different approach than we thought," the coach said. "They were winging it downfield and they were successful doing it."

Bradford was 16 for 32 for 166 yards with one touchdown and an interception and agreed with running back Steven Jackson's assessment that the Rams got bullied. After the game he appeared dazed, slumped in a chair in front of his locker stall with legs askew.

"We knew that was kind of their M.O.," Bradford said. "We did what we didn't want to do, which is fall behind. It's like we weren't even playing in the first half."

The Ravens punted for the first time with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Their lone failure was long field goal kicking, with Billy Cundiff making three chances inside the 40 but missing twice from 51 yards.

Cundiff hurt his right calf after getting hit on a roughing-the-kicker call following the final touchdown and didn't make the ensuing kickoff, but was fine after the game.

Smith, a second-round pick who had 12 touchdown receptions last year at Maryland, got his first career start ahead of injured Lee Evans. Touchdown catches of 74, 41 and 18 yards capped three of the Ravens' first four possessions, and finished with five receptions for 152 yards.

Smith burned cornerback Justin King down the right sideline on Baltimore's second offensive play, catching Flacco's pass in stride and sprinting in the last 30 yards. King, a starter because Ron Bartell was lost for the season with a neck injury, was schooled again on the second score. Smith made the catch running full-out near the back of the end zone.

King and safety Darian Stewart couldn't cover Smith on a fade pattern into the left corner of the end zone that put Baltimore ahead 21-0 late in the first quarter.

Smith finished the half with four catches for 144 yards.

Flacco consistently got the ball out just in time to negate the Rams' frequent blitzes. He had the three touchdown passes and no interceptions, just like in the Ravens' impressive opening 35-7 victory over the Steelers. Against the Titans, he had one TD pass and threw two picks.

"He was lights out," Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "He put the ball exactly where he was supposed to in tight coverage. He was deadly in play-action and bootleg stuff."

Jackson started for St. Louis; he missed last Monday night's loss to the New York Giants with a right leg problem. He was no factor, finishing with 23 yards on four carries. Backup Cadillac Williams had 75 yards on 18 carries.

The Rams were expected to contend in the NFC West, but resembled the 2009 unit that dropped its first seven, got beaten four times by at least 19 points at home, and went 1-15 in Spagnuolo's first season.

St. Louis had six punts and an interception in the first half, mustering 81 yards and six first downs. Players were serenaded with boos as they trotted off at halftime.

"I understand where the fans are coming from," Bradford said. "They deserve more out of us and we've got to give more. We share their frustration."

During the second quarter, Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk tweeted, "Has anyone seen the Rams that played the preseason?" St. Louis was 4-0 in the games that didn't count.

Notes

  • The Ravens' previous yardage record was 548 in 2009 against the Lions. Their only other 500-yard game was 501 yards against the Chiefs earlier in 2009.
  • Ravens S Haruki Nakamura injured his left knee in the first half.
  • The 74-yard pass was the longest of Flacco's career. His previous game best was 385 yards Oct. 18, 2009 at Minnesota.
 
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Sun. Sept. 25Final
2163737
00707
RavensRams
Pass: J. Flacco (27-48, 389) S. Bradford (16-32, 166)
Rush: R. Rice (9-81) C. Williams (18-75)
Rec: T. Smith (5-152) B. Gibson (5-55)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDTorrey Smith, 74 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 12:20. Drive: 2 plays, 78 yards in 0:30.
TDTorrey Smith, 41 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 3:38. Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards in 3:11.
TDTorrey Smith, 18 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 1:48. Drive: 3 plays, 55 yards in 1:11.
2ND QUARTER
FGBilly Cundiff, 21 Yd, 3:05. Drive: 9 plays, 94 yards in 3:10.
FGBilly Cundiff, 31 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 10 plays, 49 yards in 2:05.
3RD QUARTER
FGBilly Cundiff, 38 Yd, 10:29. Drive: 12 plays, 52 yards in 4:31.
TDBrandon Gibson, 34 Yd pass from Sam Bradford (Josh Brown kick is good), 5:14. Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 5:15.
4TH QUARTER
TDHaloti Ngata, 28 Yd fumble return (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 4:58.
Players of the Game
Miami

B. Gibson
Rec 5
Yds 55
Avg 11.0
TD 1
Baltimore

T. Smith
Rec 5
Yds 152
Avg 30.4
TD 3
 
Baltimore
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Flacco27/4838930
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Rice981053
R. Williams542028
J. Flacco82709
T. Smith110010
A. Allen3803
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Smith5152374
R. Rice583022
A. Boldin774021
E. Dickson551019
V. Leach31107
R. Williams111011
L. Williams1707
St. Louis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
S. Bradford16/3216611
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Williams1875016
S. Jackson423012
S. Bradford322016
L. Kendricks1-80-8
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Gibson555134
M. Sims-Walker336014
D. Alexander228015
L. Kendricks225013
M. Hoomanawanui110010
A. Pettis2805
C. Williams1404
Complete Player Stats
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