Rice reaches milestone, Ravens up early (Raiders score)

On his first carry of the day, Ray Rice passed 5,000 career rushing yards. Quite a career so far for the Ravens’ franchise tailback.

That got the first scoring drive of the game started, as the Ravens moved 22 yards in seven plays to take a 3-0 lead over the Raiders on Justin Tucker’s 48-yard field goal with 8:49 to go in the first quarter.

Tucker has now made 16 of 17 field-goal attempts this season, and is 10-for-11 from 40 and beyond. Pretty darn good.

Meanwhile, the Ravens’ defense is off to a nice start. The Raiders hurt themselves on their first drive, as guard Mike Brisiel stepped on quarterback Carson Palmer’s foot on fourth-and-1. That sent Palmer to the turf for one of the easiest sacks Paul Kruger will ever be credited with, and gave Baltimore the ball on its own 48.

Oakland then went three-and-out the next time it had the ball.

Update: Much like a week ago, the Ravens’ offense is on a roll early.

Baltimore just scored again, this time on Joe Flacco’s 1-yard touchdown run with 3:15 to go in the opening quarter, to take a 10-0 lead over Oakland.

The Ravens also scored on their first two possessions a week ago at Cleveland before failing to score again until the fourth quarter. Perhaps this week’s game will unfold differently.

The latest score came at the end of an eight-play, 63-yard drive that took 3:56 off the clock. The big plays came on Flacco passes to his tight ends. He connected with Dennis Pitta for an 18-yard gain on third-and-9 and then found Ed Dickson deep over the middle for a 40-yard gain on third-and-10. The latter pass gave Baltimore first-and-goal at the Raiders’ 4. The Ravens scored two plays later.

Now let’s see if the defense can keep the momentum on the home team’s side.

Update II: The Ravens gave the Raiders a great opportunity to tighten the game significantly when Flacco was intercepted by Michael Huff at the Baltimore 19-yard line.

But Oakland settled for a Sebastian Janikowski 22-yard field goal, cutting the Ravens’ lead to 10-3 with 10:02 to go in the second quarter.

That’s a win for the Ravens right there, and Bernard Pollard’s sack on first down of that drive had plenty to do with making it happen.