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Game Recap: Ravens offense, finally, finds life

NFL: Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens offense has struggled mightily this season. The inability to have any success on offense has prevented many from considering the Ravens as a real threat. Add in the fact that the Ravens had faced so many back up quarterbacks surely hasn’t helped.

Against Matthew Stafford and the Lions however, the offense finally found its groove.

In a must-win game, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense found life in the second quarter, and did enough late to lead the team to a 44-20 win over the Detroit Lions. It was a fantastic win that will nonetheless be marred by injuries.

The Ravens started the game slowly, not mounting a drive of even 30 yards in the first quarter. The Ravens second drive started inside Lions territory, and the team was able to kick a field goal.

In the second quarter, Joe Flacco found Mike Wallace for a 66 yard gain through the air. It was the play that provided the spark the Ravens offense has searched for all season long. The Ravens scored a touchdown on a pass to Ben Watson right afterwards, and took a 10-0 lead.

The Ravens got the ball right back, and quickly scored again. This time, it was Patrick Ricard that caught a TD pass. Baltimore would kick a field goal right before the half, and went into halftime leading 20-0.

The Ravens offense dominated in the first half, but the momentum was halted by a major injury. Jimmy Smith, who is the midst of an All-Pro caliber season, suffered an Achilles injury. Smith was quickly ruled out for the game, and will be out for the season as well.

Losing Smith was a huge blow for the Ravens defense, and the Lions quickly took advantage.

Detroit scored touchdowns on three of the first four second half drives the team had. Marlon Humphrey was thrust into a bigger role, and struggled. Marvin Jones burned him a couple of times, and the Lions got right back in the game. Matthew Stafford completed 20 consecutive passes during the second half, and Detroit scored 13 unanswered in the third quarter to make the score 20-13 Ravens.

The Ravens, unlike much of the season, responded on offense. Alex Collins scored for the Ravens on a seven yard run to go up 27-13. Detroit scored a TD on its next drive, and the lead was trimmed to 27-20.

From there, the Ravens took over. Justin Tucker drilled a 53 yard field goal to go up 30-20 on its first drive after the Collins touchdown.

The dagger came soon after. Humphrey made up for his struggles by picking off Stafford, and Alex Collins scored a second touchdown just two plays later. Eric Weddle made an interception on the Lions next drive, and returned it to the house for a touchdown. Baltimore now led 44-20, and they would win the game by that score.

Joe Flacco played by far his best game of the year. Flacco completed 22 of 36 passes for 269 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Alex Collins rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Mike Wallace led the Ravens receivers with 5 catches for 116 yards, but every inch came in the first half. Wallace didn’t have a target in the second half.

The Ravens improve to 7-5 with the victory. They now have a bit of a cushion in the wild card race as the Bills lost. Next week, the Ravens will play on Sunday night against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.