Ravens stick to balance vs. NFL’s top pass defense for early lead (Ravens tie it)

The Cowboys bring the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense to M&T Bank Stadium this afternoon. What do Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco seem to think of that?

Not a whole lot, so far.

The Ravens balanced the pass and run well to jump out to a 3-0 lead on the opening drive of the game - five passes and eight runs to put Justin Tucker in position for a 38-yard field goal with 7:50 to go in the first quarter.

Baltimore ate the first 7:10 off the clock with a 14-play, 60-yard drive that utilized both Flacco’s arm and Ray Rice’s legs. Flacco went 5-for-5 for 34 yards while Rice ran seven times for 27 yards.

Good start for the Baltimore offense.

Update: Well, that was short-lived.

The Cowboys just ran right through and around the Ravens’ defense to speed 80 yards downfield in eight plays and just 4:32 for a 7-3 lead.

Dallas ran five times for 61 yards on the drive. DeMarco Murray accounted for four carries and 39 yards and Felix Jones darted down the visiting sideline for the last 22 yards and a touchdown.

The scoring play was originally ruled down at the 1-yard line, but Dallas tossed out the red flag and the call was overturned on review, giving Jones a deserved touchdown. He wasn’t down and knocked over the pylon while in the air.

Baltimore struggled against the run in the first half of last week’s game in Kansas City, only to turn around and stall the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles in the second half. Looks like the Ravens might have to pull a similar set of tricks today if that keeps up.

Update II: Dallas just increased its lead to 10-3 when Dan Bailey kicked a 42-yard field goal with 11:29 to go in the first half.

The Cowboys are up to 111 rushing yards after that 12-play drive.

Update III: The Ravens have just tied it at 10-10 with a big drive of their own.

Baltimore moved 80 yards in eight plays with Rice running 1 yard for a touchdown to cap the possession. The main play on the drive was a 43-yard pass to Rice where Flacco eluded oncoming pressure in the pocket and improvised, finding his top running back open in the middle with room in front of him. Rice used it, advancing from Baltimore’s 35 to Dallas’ 22.

So now it’s the defense’s turn without Lardarius Webb and Haloti Ngata.