Flacco, Ravens beat Steelers 26-6 without Rice

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Breaking Down The Ravens' Win


BALTIMORE (AP) -- A short and tumultuous work week for the Baltimore Ravens ended with a surprisingly lopsided victory.

Playing three days after running back Ray Rice was released, the Ravens got a pair of touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and rolled past the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 on Thursday night.

Rice was reaching the end of a two-game suspension for domestic violence when a video of him striking his then-fiancee surfaced Monday. By the end of the day, the three-time Pro Bowler had been cut by Baltimore and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

The media immediately descended upon the team's training complex, and the line of questioning had little to do with this heated AFC North rivalry.

The Ravens (1-1) shrugged off the distraction to bounce back from a season-opening loss at home to division rival Cincinnati.

Bernard Pierce took over for Rice to gain 96 yards on 22 carries as part of a ground game that finished with 157 yards. Flacco went 21 for 29 for 166 yards and two TD throws to tight end Owen Daniels, and Justin Tucker kicked four field goals.

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Flacco, Ravens beat Steelers 26-6 without Rice
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens takes the field for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) wears a gladiator-style helmet as he is introduced before the Ravens' NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin points from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is just short of a touchdown as he is hit by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) and other defenders during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. The Ravens won 26-6. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) and free safety Mike Mitchell (23) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (11) runs away from Baltimore Ravens defensive back Chykie Brown (23), but strong safety Jeromy Miles (36) is waiting, during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) gets a hand on, but does not catch, a pass as Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen (28) defends during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels (81) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell (23) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) during the third quarter on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens won, 26-6. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) celebrates his fumble recovery during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) celebrates his sack of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens defensive end DeAngelo Tyson (93) celebrates after recovering a fumble by the Pittsburgh Steelers Justin Brown at the Baltimore 15 on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens won, 26-6. (Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts from the sidelines during their game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Tight end Owen Daniels #81 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during 1st quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley #57 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his fumble recovery with inside linebacker Daryl Smith #51 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talk to one another after the Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-6, at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens takes the field for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers before their game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Biscotti hugs head coach John Harbaugh (right) on the field before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Biscotti talks on the field before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Fans on the sidelines during pre-game take a selfie before the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Fans stand outside of M&T Bank Stadium before the game between Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Fans stand outside of M&T Bank Stadium before the game between Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Pittsburgh (1-1) managed only two field goals and committed three turnovers - one that halted its opening drive, another that set up a fourth-quarter field goal by Tucker, and an interception by Ben Roethlisberger with 1:51 remaining.

It was only the second time in the last 11 regular-season meetings between the teams that the outcome was decided by more than three points.

Roethlisberger completed 22 of 37 passes for 217 yards. It was the first time since Nov. 26, 2006, that Baltimore held Pittsburgh without a touchdown.

After Tucker kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 20-6 lead, Steelers tight end Heath Miller fumbled on a hit by rookie C.J. Mosley, who took the loose ball to the Pittsburgh 20.

That led to a 22-yarder by Tucker with 11:14 left.

Although the Rice video and the reaction was the talk of Baltimore for much of the week, a few fans showed their loyalty to the banished running back by wearing his No. 27 jersey.

But the crowd of 71,181 was quick to turn its attention to on-field action at the opening kickoff.

Aided by a roughing the passer call against Courtney Upshaw on the third play of the game, Pittsburgh held the ball for more than eight minutes before Justin Brown fumbled and Baltimore recovered at its own 15.

The Ravens then moved 85 yards in 12 plays with the help of two Pittsburgh penalties, the last a 23-yard pass interference call against Cortez Allen that set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Daniels.

Pierce and Justin Forsett combined for 32 yards on Baltimore's next series, which ended in a field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Pittsburgh finally broke through with 2:50 left in the half, getting a field goal to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive.

It was 10-6 before Flacco connected with Daniels on a 1-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive highlighted by Flacco's 24-yard completion to tight end Dennis Pitta.

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