Joe Flacco flourishes in Ravens’ no-huddle ‘O’
BY DAVID GINSBURG September 10, 2012 11:20PM
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes the ball in the first half as defensive end Robert Geathers #91 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes in at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:18AM
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens’ new no-huddle offense gave the Cincinnati Bengals no chance to win.
Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, Ed Reed took an interception 34 yards for a score, and the Ravens rolled to a 44-13 victory Monday night to extend their home winning streak to 11 games.
Flacco and the offense worked this summer on running plays without a huddle, and when it came time to put the scheme into action, the results were almost flawless. The Ravens amassed 430 yards, didn’t commit a turnover and punted only twice.
“That tempo really helped us out because those guys can really get to the passer and really create a lot of pressure,” Flacco said. “I think the fact that we were able to go up-tempo and kind of keep those guys on the field took its toll on them.”
After letting an early 14-point lead dwindle to 17-13, the Ravens pulled away by scoring 24 points in a row in just over six minutes. Ray Rice ran for 68 yards and two short scores, but instead of dominating the team’s attack in his usual fashion, the running back took a back seat to Flacco.
“Obviously, everything went pretty well for us tonight,” Flacco said.
Not so for the Bengals, who made the playoffs last year without beating a team that qualified for postseason play. In this one, they once again came up short against a high-caliber opponent.
“That certainly wasn’t what we expected to have out there,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “We got outplayed and we got outcoached.”
Although the 44 points were 11 fewer than the Ravens mustered in two games against the Bengals last year, Lewis insisted the no-huddle attack wasn’t the difference.
“I wish I could say it was the no-huddle,” he said. “It’s an effective thing for them, and it’s something they’ll continue to do, but I don’t think it really bothered us.”
Flacco watched the final eight minutes on the sideline after going 21-for-29 in his team’s ninth consecutive victory in the AFC North. AP