That was an absolute spanking.
Joe Flacco threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, the Ravens' defense set a franchise record with seven takeaways, and Baltimore opened the season with a dominating 35-7 win over the Steelers in front of 71,434 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Playing their arch-rivals eight months after blowing a 14-point halftime lead and losing to Pittsburgh in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Ravens dominated the Steelers on both sides of the ball (and I mean dominated), putting up 385 yards of total offense and forcing six second-half turnovers.
Baltimore racked up 170 yards on the ground, nearly triple the 62.8 rushing yards that the Steelers allowed per game last season, a total which made them the NFL's stingiest run defense. One hundred and seven of those rushing yards came from Ray Rice, who also added 42 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh has allowed only two 100-yard rushers in its last 51 games. Both have been recorded by Rice; the previous 100-yard performance came on Dec. 27, 2009.
Haloti Ngata tormented the Steelers all game, and the Pro Bowl defensive tackle had a hand in four of the Ravens' turnovers. Ngata forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, tipped a Ben Roethlisberger pass that was intercepted by Ray Lewis, and pressured Roethlisberger into a second interception.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs posted three sacks of Roethlisberger, and now holds the Ravens' franchise sack record with 71.5.
All-Pro safety Ed Reed, who led the NFL with eight interceptions last season, notched two picks of Roethlisberger today, both of which came in the red zone.
I feel like I could go on all day.
In the first matchup between these two hated rivals, the Ravens made a statement. They draw first blood, and sit rather comfortably at 1-0 after the season's first week.