Three plays, 1:32, seven points. It was that easy.
The Ravens jumped on top of the Steelers 7-0 in the blink of an eye, opening the season in fine fashion with a dominating drive that made Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense look amateurish.
Baltimore’s offense motored down the field, picking up yards in chunks in the form of Lardarius Webb’s 34-yard kickoff return, Ray Rice’s 36-yard run and Joe Flacco’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.
Not a bad way to kick off the 2011 campaign.
Things took a turn for the worse, however, when rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith, the Ravens’ first-round pick, limped off the field on the ensuing kickoff.
Smith could barely put any weight on his left leg, and he headed into the locker room with the assistance of trainers.
With Smith unable to line up, the Ravens sent out Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb as their starting cornerbacks. Chris Carr served as the nickel back on the first defensive series.
If Smith is out any extended period of time, it would serve as a major blow to the Ravens’ seemingly strong cornerback corps.
UPDATE: It’s an ankle sprain for Smith. His return is questionable.