Greedy Ravens Set Turnover Record

Roethlisberger’s two fumbles and threw three picks helped the Ravens set a franchise mark.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Mike Duffy, Week 1 vs Steelers

Wherever the football was in their 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens were too.

Baltimore set a new franchise record by forcing seven turnovers, upping their record to 56-1 since 2000 when netting two takeaways. The Steelers’ seven flubs marked the most they’ve even had in a game since 1995.

In all, the Ravens’ defense came into the season opener ready to pick Pittsburgh’s pocket.

“We just went out and played ball,” said cornerback Lardarius Webb.  “With our D-line playing like they did today, it’s going to be easy every week.  When they get to the quarterback, it makes our jobs easier.  We got a couple of interceptions today and we keep going from here.”

Ed Reed Discusses the Defense’s Execution
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Baltimore went after the Steelers from the start.

Midway through the first quarter, linebacker Terrell Suggs burst through the backfield and got a sack/strip of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that Haloti Ngata recovered deep in Ravens territory.

Three plays later, running back Ray Rice barreled into the end zone off a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

The defense never let up from there, posting three interceptions and three more fumble recoveries.

A tipped pass by Ngata was hauled by linebacker Ray Lewis, and safety Ed Reed logged two picks on his 33rd birthday, marking his 12th regular-season contest with multiple interceptions.

“He must have something on his hands that holds on to the ball or something,” said Webb. “I think he’s amazing. He was my favorite player when I was in college, but man, is he amazing.  How you get two interceptions, and he’s about 40 years old!”

Ngata’s forced fumble on the first play after halftime kept momentum on the Ravens’ side.

The massive lineman shed Steelers guard Doug Legursky and blasted Rashard Mendenhall just as Roethlisberger was handing him the ball.

After recovering the fumble at Pittsburgh’s 18-yard line, the Ravens needed only one snap for Joe Flacco to find tight end Ed Dickson in the end zone and extend the margin to 29-7.

“They just let me go, and I was able to get back there pretty quick,” said Ngata.  “I was able to get there while they were handing off the ball.”

Ngata added with a laugh: “Ray was telling me three guys went to him and let me go, but he’s just mad that I made that play.”

When a team starts their season +7 in turnover ratio – where the Ravens ended up in 2010 – there is reason to smile.

“We just kept rallying,” said Lewis.  “They were going to make some plays, but the bottom line is, let’s see if we can finish a 60-minute ball game and let’s see if we can keep piling on more plays.  In this game, we did.”

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