Rice’s first TD reception of year has Ravens in control at half (up 27-7)

The Ravens’ offense can apparently do it all against the struggling Giants.

Joe Flacco chose the risky route for his latest feat, completing a gorgeous slant pass to Ray Rice in the middle of three New York defenders. Triple coverage didn’t burn Flacco, as Rice not only made the catch, but took the ball the rest of the way to the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown reception.

Rice’s first touchdown catch of the season gave the Ravens a 24-7 lead with 1:04 to go in the first half, and Baltimore holds that same advantage at halftime.

It was quite a half for the Ravens, who outgained the Giants 289-109 and converted 15 first downs to the visitors’ four.

Flacco had a tremendous first two quarters, going 15-for-20 for 202 yards, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and no interceptions.

That gives the fifth-year quarterback 3,676 passing yards so far this season, a career high.

Rice also is performing well with 62 yards on the ground and 37 receiving yards. Torrey Smith has added four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown while Anquan Boldin has five receptions for 72 yards.

The Ravens’ defense has contributed as much with tons of quarterback pressure on Eli Manning, who might be 9-for-13, but has just 106 passing yards.

Manning was sacked twice - by Brendon Ayanbadejo and Haloti Ngata - and absorbed numerous other hits.

All week, national outlets were predicting a sure Giants loss the way they have played lately. Seemed ridiculous considering the Ravens’ play during their three-game slide. But those folks are looking awfully smart at the moment.

Update: The Ravens just finally gave up possession after holding the ball for 7:57 on a ridiculous penalty-filled drive that ended with a 21-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.

Baltimore went 82 yards in 16 plays, plus two defensive penalties. In all, there were six flags thrown on the possession, and the clock kept ticking.

The Ravens found themselves in several dicey situations - first-and-20, first-and-25, third-and-19, third-and-nine - and they converted them all with nice passes and catches alike.

And thus, Baltimore holds a 27-7 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter.