Ravens Dominate Tampa Bay In 17-10 Victory
BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Ravens extended their run of success at home, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again came up short against a team with a winning record.
Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes, and the Ravens beat Tampa Bay 17-10 Sunday for their franchise record-tying eighth straight home win.
Flacco connected with Todd Heap for a 65-yard score and hit Derrick Mason for a 10-yard touchdown during a three-minute span of the second quarter to stake Baltimore to a 17-3 halftime lead.
Flacco now has 53 career TD passes, surpassing Vinny Testaverde (51) for most in Ravens history.
Flacco completed 25 for 35 passes for 289 yards and had a 76-yard touchdown throw to Ray Rice called back because of a block in the back by Anquan Boldin.
Baltimore (8-3) improved to 5-0 at home this season and remained tied atop with the AFC North with Pittsburgh. The Ravens host the Steelers next Sunday night.
Tampa Bay (7-4) still has not beaten a team with a winning record. The Buccaneers have lost to New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 113-50 score.
Josh Freeman went 17 for 37 for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Although he avoided being sacked, Freeman often was forced to throw under pressure and had only one completion of more than 20 yards.
Freeman threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kellen Winslow with 3:05 left to make it 17-10, but the Buccaneers didn’t get the ball back.
With the score 3-all late in the second quarter, Heap slipped behind two Tampa Bay defenders, caught a pass from Flacco in stride and raced to the end zone on the longest play of his 10-year career.
The Buccaneers then went three-and-out, and an iffy pass interference call against Myron Lewis preceded Flacco’s touchdown pass to Mason with 32 seconds left in the half.
Mason finished with eight catches for 87 yards.
Baltimore made only two first downs in its first two series, but punter Sam Koch twice pinned the Buccaneers inside the 20. That enabled the Ravens to begin their third possession at the Tampa Bay 41, which led to a 45-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff.
After another Buccaneers punt, Aqib Talib got his team-high sixth interception and returned it 25 yards to the Baltimore 31. It was the first interception thrown by Flacco at home this season; he had gone 128 passes without one.
Tampa Bay safety Cody Grimm hurt his left ankle during the return and was carted off the field. He did not return.
After the turnover, Tampa Bay failed to gain a yard on three plays from the Baltimore 4 before Connor Barth kicked a field goal to make it 3-all.
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