Atlanta at Baltimore: Three Things We Learned
Maybe someone needs to remind the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan the goal in the NFL is to move forward, not in reverse.
This may sound like a broken record, but the Falcons lost another football game on Sunday, the fourth in a row since the team beat Tampa Bay 56-14. This loss, a 29-7 defeat at the hands of Baltimore, just proved how woeful the team has been over the course of the last month.
While Joe Flacco threw for 258 yards and two scores in the win, it was the defense that proved to be the deciding factor in this game in Baltimore.
Here are three things we learned from this game, according to ESPN.com.
DEFENSE WINS GAMES
Elvis Dumervil and Pernell McPhee each had two sacks, and Baltimore punished Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in a 29-7 victory Sunday.
One week after scoring 48 points at Tampa Bay, the Ravens (5-2) built a 17-0 halftime lead in their second straight blowout.
Baltimore allowed only four first downs in the pivotal first half, finished with five sacks and had a shutout going over the first 52 minutes.
"Good things, great things, are expected from this defense," Dumervil said. "We work hard all year, so our motto is, `We're just getting started."
The Falcons (2-5) averted their first shutout loss since December 2004 when Ryan connected with Roddy White for a 4-yard touchdown with 7:12 remaining to make it 20-7. It was Atlanta's first fourth-quarter score in five games.
It was small consolation to a team that has lost four straight, progressively scoring fewer points in each of those games.
"We had way too much pressure," Coach Mike Smith said. "Our quarterback was hit and sacked way too much. There were times where we really didn't have a chance to get the play off."
After the touchdown, Atlanta's next possession ended with Terrell Suggs sacking Ryan for a safety.
"Five sacks and really, numerous quarterback hits on a guy that doesn't get hit very often," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Credit our guys for keeping him (in the pocket) and then for getting him."
NEWS AND NOTES
Joe Flacco completed 6-of-8 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown against five or more pass rushers Sunday, completing each of his last five such attempts. Flacco has excelled against the blitz in the Ravens' wins this season.
Atlanta C Peter Konz left with a knee injury. He will be examined Monday. ... Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox tore his ACL and is lost for the year. DT Haloti Ngata did the job on final extra point. ... Baltimore was vying for its first shutout since 2009. ... The Ravens are 13-1 at home against NFC foes since the start of the 2008 season.