Notebook: Flacco intercepted twice in win

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco committed the first two turnovers of his NFL career, but the miscues didn't prevent his team from claiming a resounding victory. In his second NFL start, the first-round draft pick from Delaware threw his first two career interceptions after completing his first seven passes by hitting five different receivers for 74 yards.

Flacco's mistakes didn't stop the Ravens, though, as they earned a 28-10 win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium by relying upon a brutish running game and a dominant defense.

"You shouldn't have to play perfect to win," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "If you're a good enough football team, you overcome mistakes. We chase perfection, but it's hard to be perfect.

"Joe, he made the bad throw and I'm going to console Joe, and Joe's consoling me, 'I'll be fine, I got it.' That's the kind of guy Joe is."

Flacco completed 13 of 19 passes for 129 yards for no touchdowns and a 47.8 quarterback rating. He was only sacked once.

His first interception of the first half was picked off by linebacker D'Qwell Jackson when he was looking for tight end Todd Heap in traffic.

"I didn't see the guy and threw it right to him and he jumped up and caught it," Flacco said. "We came out and tried to make a play and the guy went up and made a nice play.

"The last thing you want to do is dwell on the mistakes and let them get you down. I thought we did a great job of overcoming those things."

Flacco was also picked off by safety Mike Adams on a flea-flicker bomb intended for wide receiver Derrick Mason. Another interception was nullified due to a defensive penalty, and defensive lineman Corey Williams dropped a Flacco pass that hit him in the hands.

'Nonetheless, Flacco became only the third quarterback since 1970 to begin his career 2-0 as he joined John Elway and Ryan Leaf.

"You want to take away the two picks, but I felt pretty good out there," Flacco said. "I look forward to getting on the field next week. You go back and study the film and learn from the things we miscued. It's just great to be 2-0."

INJURY REPORT: Besides safety Dawan Landry's spinal cord concussion that sent him to Maryland Shock Trauma, running back Willis McGahee suffered a laceration on his right eyelid and was poked in his other eye.

The cut drew blood and McGahee had to leave the game a few times for treatment.

"It looked a little bit like Joe Frazier," Harbaugh said.

Meanwhile, cornerback Samari Rolle felt some tingling sensations in his right arm following his fourth-quarter interception and will undergo more tests today.

It's the same shoulder that ended his season last year, but Rolle said it's nowhere near as bad.

"I'll be playing next week," Rolle said. "I don't know how bad it is, but I'll be all right."

COMMITTEE APPROACH: Rotating McGahee, fullback Le'Ron McClain and rookie Ray Rice, the Ravens grinded it out for 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries.

This was McGahee's first game after missing the entire preseason and the season-opener following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, and he was relatively impressive with 64 yards on 15 carries. He scored on a five-yard touchdown run.

"I thought our running backs ran north and south," Harbaugh said.

McGahee was limited in the second half due to the cut. He was unavailable for comment afterward.

Meanwhile, McClain rushed for a team-high 66 yards on 17 carries with two touchdown runs. Rice gained 21 yards on five carries.

"It was good to have him back out there, just him doing his thing and me blocking," McClain said in reference to McGahee. "When he was going down, I felt bad for him, but we just stepped up and the offensive line took over."

BLOCKING BIG BABY: The Ravens contained massive Browns nose guard Shaun "Big Baby" Rogers, limiting the 6-foot-4, 350-pound Pro Bowl defensive lineman to four inconsequential tackles and no sacks.

"It's a large building block that gives us a lot of confidence," center Jason Brown said. "We're a young, hard-working group of guys.

"At no point, are we going to feel like we have arrived. We're going to prepare hard every week because that's how you get better. You have to stay humble."

The Ravens cut Rogers off with their blocking angles, walling him off to limit his impact.

"You definitely pick an edge when the game allows it," Brown said. "He's the type of guy who can disrupt the middle."

SHUT DOWN: The Ravens prevented Browns star return specialist Josh Cribbs from hurting them in the kicking game.

The Pro Bowl return man gained a career-high 245 yards on seven kickoff returns in last year's 33-30 overtime win over Baltimore.

This time, he was limited to 52 yards on three kick returns and 24 yards on two punt returns as kicker Matt Stover and punter Sam Koch excelled at angling their kicks away from Cribbs' direction.

"They had the one ball that they tried to stretch it back out to the field, but they had to hold to get it through there," Harbaugh said. "I thought our guys did a really nice job of playing off the wedge and playing off blocks and smoking down the field pretty good."

QUICK HITS: The Ravens deactivated return specialist Yamon Figurs (hamstring) cornerbacks Fabian Washington (bulging disc in neck) and Evan Oglesby, nose guard Kelly Gregg (left knee), linebacker Nick Greisen (leg) and rookie offensive tackles David Hale and Oniel Cousins. Troy Smith (tonsil infection) was listed as the team's emergency quarterback. … In Figurs' place, Jim Leonhard averaged 26 yards on kickoff returns and had a 21-yard punt return. ... Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo played in his 82nd consecutive game despite not practicing twice last week with an injured right ankle. ... The Browns were missing four starters: linebacker Willie McGinest (hamstring), offensive guard Eric Steinbach (shoulder), wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (pulled quadriceps) and strong safety Sean Jones (knee). ... Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said he never considered replacing quarterback Derek Anderson with Brady Quinn. "No, because the game was still within reach," Crennel said. "Derek had most of the work during the course of the week, and we still had a chance." ... Linebacker Terrell Suggs' two sacks marked the 10th multi-sack game of his career, giving him 47 overall. The Ravens are 10-0 when he has two or more sacks. His forced fumble boosted his franchise record to 18. ... Harbaugh threw the red flag for the first time in his career as a head coach, challenging a call that Rice had lost a fumble. The challenge was successful and the Ravens retained possession when it was determined that Rice's elbow was down prior to the ball coming loose. ...Chris McAlister intercepted his 25th career pass, tying him with middle linebacker Ray Lewis for the second-most in team history. ... Offensive tackle Willie Anderson played roughly 15 snaps in relief of right tackle Adam Terry. "It felt good to get my feet wet," Anderson said. "I just want to help these young guys out and help this team win."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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