"You're going to find out this is a very good football team," coach John Harbaugh said Sunday after Flacco threw for five touchdowns in just over 16 minutes to set the tone for a 48-17 rout of the struggling Bucs. "And to play the way we did in a game that's kind of a business game, a game we need to win to do the things we want to do, it speaks a lot to who we are as a football team."
Still smarting from a subpar road performance that ended a three-game winning streak, Flacco was nearly flawless against a defense that had no answers for Baltimore's passing or running attack.
"It was very enjoyable. You don't get those too often in this league. ... It was pretty crazy," Flacco said. "It happened so quickly. It was such an awkward situation, but it was definitely fun for us."
Baltimore (4-2) scored on six straight possessions to begin the game, with Flacco becoming the first NFL quarterback to throw five TD passes in the opening half since Tom Brady did it in 2009 on the way to New England beating Tennessee 59-0.
"It was really surreal, and a lot of fun at that point," Flacco said. "At that point, shoot, we were on pace for almost 16 touchdowns."
Tampa Bay (1-5) trailed 38-0 at halftime and was embarrassed for the second time in six games under coach Lovie Smith. The Bucs were beaten 56-14 at Atlanta on Sept. 18, but rebounded from that debacle with a win over Pittsburgh and an overtime loss at New Orleans, outings that left Smith feeling his team was headed in the right direction.
"They're a good football team, and we're not a good football team. It's as simple as that," Smith said after dropping to 0-3 at home.
"We've all," Bucs offensive tackle Demar Dotson offered, "got a lot of getting better to do."
Flacco was sacked four times and Baltimore was just 1 of 11 on third-down conversions a week ago in a disappointing 20-13 loss at Indianapolis, however the offense was in synch from the very start against the Bucs' porous Tampa2 defense.
With help from Forsett's 52-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, the Ravens moved 80 yards in four plays to take a quick lead on Flacco's 15-yard scoring pass to Torrey Smith. His next three TD throws -- 9 yards to Torrey Smith, 17 yards to Aiken and 19 yards to Campanaro -- came on third-down throws.
"It was a great start, about as fast a start as you're going to get, really in all three phases." Harbaugh said. "But for the offense to do what they did early ... it's just historic."
Steve Smith is Baltimore's leading receiver, but was hardly involved until he beat cornerback Alterraun Verner deep down the left sideline for a 56-yard score that made it 35-0 just over a minute into the second quarter. It was the 14th-year pro seventh career TD against the Bucs.
The Ravens said it also was the fastest -- 16:03 -- that any NFL player has thrown for five TDs in a game. When the Bucs finally stopped Flacco for the first time, forcing Baltimore to settle for Justin Tucker's 46-yard field goal midway through the second quarter, Tampa Bay safety Bradley McDougald raised his right fist in triumph.
Flacco finished 21 of 29 for 306 yards with no interceptions. He was barely pressured by the Tampa Bay pass rush and was not sacked.
The Ravens outgained the Bucs 347 yards to 101 in rolling to their big halftime lead. The Bucs broke through with a 47-yard field goal early in the third quarter and Mike Glennon threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to Mike Evans and 3 yards to Louis Murphy.
Glennon went 24 of 44 for 314 yards, two TDs and one interception in his third start of the season for the Bucs, who lost Josh McCown to a thumb injury during its lopsided loss to Atlanta.
In addition to Jimmy Smith's first-quarter interception which set up Baltimore's second touchdown, the Ravens sacked Glennon five times for 37 yards.
Steve Smith finished with five catches for 110 yards, his eighth 100-yard day against Tampa Bay, a team he tormented for 13 seasons as a member of the Carolina Panthers. Forsett rushed for 111 yards on 14 carries.
Pierce scored Baltimore's final touchdown on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter. ... The Ravens' Tucker had a 64-yard field goal attempt blocked on the final play of the first half. ... Tampa Bay was limited to 87 yards rushing. Doug Martin had 45 on 11 attempts, and ex-Raven Bobby Rainey carried seven times for 42.
- Allen Baynes
- Jerome Boger
- Tony Michalek
- Tony Steratore
- Bob Waggoner
- Tom Stabile
- Ed Walker