Last year’s Super Bowl MVP has a game to forget as his side falls to 2-2.
Every time Joe Flacco closes his eyes this week he is likely to see and hear the Buffalo Bills defensive line.
Marcell Darus and the rest of the Bill defensive line made it a tough afternoon for Flacco and the Ravens as they helped their side to a tight 23-20 victory.
Flacco had a career-high five passes picked off while Dareus had two sacks, rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso and converted safety Aaron Williamshad picked up two interceptions each.
After the side gave up 513 yards in last week’s loss to the Jets, the Bills defence stood up when it counted to limit Baltimore to just 15 first downs for 345 yards.
“It surprises people, but we controlled it the way we needed to,” Dareus said. “We were not going to let them push us around.”
The result and the defensive pressure the Bills were able to apply was even more amazing given the side were down three first-choice men in the defensive backfield.
“These guys have answered the bell, and they played their behinds off,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
With several new faces in front of him compared to the side that won it all last year, the Ravens are still struggling to find a rhythm.
After a dominant 30-9 win over Houston last weekend, Flacco admitted much of the blame for the side’s second loss of the year.
“A lot of that falls on me today and just throwing the ball to the wrong team,” Flacco said. “If we don’t do that, then this game probably looks a little different.”
The Ravens are still a work in progress after trading Anquan Boldin to San Francisco, and with Jacoby Jones (hip) and tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) injured.
Torrey Smith had five catches for 166 yards and a touchdown, but Flacco had difficulty finding any chemistry with his other receivers.
And the Ravens running attack struggled, even with Ray Rice, who earned just 17 yards rushing, returning after missing last week’s game with a hip injury.
Baltimore will look to get their season going when they tackle Miami in week five while the Bills will be hoping their improved defensive effort is just the start as they tackle the Cleveland Browns.