Sunday, September 18, 2016

Miller's sack-strip leads Broncos past Colts 34-20

When the Denver Broncos settled for another field goal and were clinging to a six-point lead over the Indianapolis Colts with 1:51 remaining, one thought went through Von Miller's head.
"It's time to close."
And they did, thanks once again to Miller, who gave the Denver fans a reminder of his Super Bowl 50 MVP performance, sweeping in for the sack-strip of Andrew Luck that sealed the Broncos' 34-20 win Sunday.
Miller burst past right tackle Joe Reitz and swiped the ball from Luck's grasp. Fellow linebacker Shane Ray scooped it up and returned it 15 yards for the touchdown.
"It was Von Miller being Von Miller," Colts coach Chuck Pagano lamented. "We did a great job on him at some points in the game. But he's a great, great player and he made a great, great play."
Miller added a sack on the last play for his third of the game as the Broncos (2-0) sent the banged-up Colts limping to their third consecutive 0-2 start.
"He obviously got the better of me today," Reitz said. "I'm disappointed in myself, especially that last play in a critical situation. He got a good jump and got around the edge, got to Andrew. The rest is history."
All afternoon, the Broncos rattled Luck, who started 5 for 18 before he engineered a couple of second-half touchdown drives. Luck completed just 21 of 40 passes for 197 yards and was sacked five times.
Trevor Siemian outshone Luck, just as he did Cam Newton in the opener. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards.
Cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Denver a 23-13 lead.
Talib stepped in front of wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to snag Luck's pass, which he returned through traffic down Denver's jubilant sideline. His ninth career pick-6 was his fifth for Denver, a franchise record.
"The good thing about Aqib is if he ever gets his hands on the ball, he's not only a DB, he's a returner," coach Gary Kubiak said.
It's not luck, it's preparation, Talib said.
"I practice it," he said. "When I get an interception in practice, I go score on it. Practice makes perfect."
D'Qwell Jackson stuffed C.J. Anderson on third-and-1 from the Colts 17 and Brandon McManus's 35-yard field goal made it 26-20 with 1:51 left.
After a touchback, Luck lined up and took the snap.
In a split second the ball was on the ground, and Luck watched helplessly as Ray scooped it up and scored.
"You can't turn the football over, have pick-6s, sack-fumbles returned for touchdowns," Luck said "It's just too hard to overcome."
STEWART AGAIN: Luck threw a 7-yard TD pass to Frank Gore with 4:02 remaining, pulling the Colts to 23-20. The drive was kept alive by safety Darian Stewart's roughing penalty for smacking the quarterback in the helmet as he slid for the first down on a third-and-1 scramble at his own 30. Stewart was fined $18,231 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Newton in the opener and can expect another fine this week.
THIN AIR: One week after Panthers punter Andy Lee had a 76-yard kick in Denver's mile-high air, Pat McAfee had a 72-yarder for the Colts that was nearly blocked but ended up bouncing into the north end zone for a touchback.
HONORING GREATS: The Broncos unveiled signs in the south end zone before the game honoring the players with retired numbers: Hall of Famers John Elway (7) and Floyd Little (44) and the No. 18 for Frank Tripucka, the first QB in franchise history. Tripucka's sign included a mention of Peyton Manning . Tripucka, who played from 1960-63, gave his blessing for Manning to wear the number when he was with the Broncos from 2012-15.
INJURY UPDATE:
Colts: CB Antonio Cromartie (shoulder) got hurt when he smacked into Emmanuel Sanders on the game's second snap, but returned in the second quarter. WR Donte Moncrief left in the second quarter with a head and neck injury. CB Rashaan Melvin left in the third quarter with cramps. RG Denzelle Good left in the fourth quarter with a back injury. Indianapolis began the day without three starters from their secondary in cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle) andPatrick Robinson (concussion) and safety T.J. Green (knee).
Broncos: Denver sustained three big injuries: OLB DeMarcus Ware broke his right forearm, and Kubiak said he didn't know if Ware will have surgery right away. Also, RT Donald Stephenson and TE Virgil Green suffered calf injuries that could sideline them for a while.

Falcons use deflected TD pass to beat Raiders 35-28

On a day dominated by the offenses, a fortunate bounce was the difference.
Justin Hardy caught a deflected 8-yard touchdown pass to break a tie midway through the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Oakland Raiders 35-28 on Sunday.
"Sometimes you need a little luck, right?" said quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 396 yards and three TDs. "For us, we talk about, in our building all the time, good things happen to people who run. Hardy was busting his tail on the back side and ended up being in the right spot at the right time, and it ended up being a huge play for us. That was a good bounce."
Ryan's third-down throw to Tevin Coleman was broken up, but the ball bounced high in the air and Hardy caught it in the end zone to put Atlanta (1-1) up 28-21.
"Sometimes the ball doesn't go your way, the bounces don't go your way," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.
The Raiders (1-1) appeared to tie the game on the next drive when Amari Cooper caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr. But Desmond Trufant pushed Cooper went out of bounds before he came back in to make the catch and officials ruled the contact was legal because Carr was out of the pocket.
"I can have my hands on him and I pushed him out," Trufant said. "That's Day 1 for DBs. Push him out of bounds, he can't touch the ball. So I knew the play was over . for him at least."
Del Rio then decided to go for it on fourth-and-2, but Jalen Richard was stopped on a 1-yard gain.
Del Rio had successfully gone on fourth-and-goal earlier in the game, leading to a 2-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree, and went for a late 2-point conversion to beat New Orleans 35-34 last week in the season opener.
But this latest gamble proved costly as Atlanta added an insurance touchdown on a 13-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman to deny the Raiders their first 2-0 start since their 2002 AFC championship season.
BAD D: The Raiders allowed 528 yards of offense, becoming the first team since the 1967 Falcons to give up at least 500 yards in each of the first two games of the season, according to Pro Football Reference. Oakland has allowed 1,035 yards through two games, the worst mark ever. Del Rio said he takes the blame.
"I take it way more personally than him because it's my defense and it's a shame," defensive lineman Khalil Macksaid. "It's a hurtful feeling."
RELIABLE TARGETS: Ryan frequently found his tight ends for big gains, completing 10 passes for 180 yards and a TD to Jacob Tamme , Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo.
REPRIEVE: The Falcons appeared to stop the Raiders on the opening drive of the second half before a bonehead penalty gave Oakland a second chance. Atlanta had 12 men on the field on the punt and Oakland got a first down when Del Rio challenged the play and officials ruled Dashon Goldson didn't get off the field in time. Four plays later, Carr found Clive Walford for a 31-yard TD pass that put the Raiders up 14-13.
RED ZONE SWING: The Falcons moved the ball fairly easily early in the game, but struggled to punch it in the end zone. The team's first three trips into the red zone ended in a pair of short field goals and an interception. Ryan twice completed third-down passes inside the 5 that came up short of the end zone, leading to field goals by Matt Bryant. In the third quarter, Ryan was late on a pass in the end zone to an open Jacob Tamme and David Amerson intercepted it . The Falcons then scored TDs on their next three red zone trips.
FIRST SACK: After getting just 19 sacks last season for the fewest in the NFL since 2009 and getting none in the opener, the Falcons got their first of the season against Carr. Vic Beasley forced Carr out of the pocket and Carr ran out of bounds for no gain, which officially counts as a sack. It was also the first allowed by Oakland this season.

Falcons use deflected TD pass to beat Raiders 35-28

On a day dominated by the offenses, a fortunate bounce was the difference.
Justin Hardy caught a deflected 8-yard touchdown pass to break a tie midway through the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Oakland Raiders 35-28 on Sunday.
"Sometimes you need a little luck, right?" said quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 396 yards and three TDs. "For us, we talk about, in our building all the time, good things happen to people who run. Hardy was busting his tail on the back side and ended up being in the right spot at the right time, and it ended up being a huge play for us. That was a good bounce."
Ryan's third-down throw to Tevin Coleman was broken up, but the ball bounced high in the air and Hardy caught it in the end zone to put Atlanta (1-1) up 28-21.
"Sometimes the ball doesn't go your way, the bounces don't go your way," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.
The Raiders (1-1) appeared to tie the game on the next drive when Amari Cooper caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr. But Desmond Trufant pushed Cooper went out of bounds before he came back in to make the catch and officials ruled the contact was legal because Carr was out of the pocket.
"I can have my hands on him and I pushed him out," Trufant said. "That's Day 1 for DBs. Push him out of bounds, he can't touch the ball. So I knew the play was over . for him at least."
Del Rio then decided to go for it on fourth-and-2, but Jalen Richard was stopped on a 1-yard gain.
Del Rio had successfully gone on fourth-and-goal earlier in the game, leading to a 2-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree, and went for a late 2-point conversion to beat New Orleans 35-34 last week in the season opener.
But this latest gamble proved costly as Atlanta added an insurance touchdown on a 13-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman to deny the Raiders their first 2-0 start since their 2002 AFC championship season.
BAD D: The Raiders allowed 528 yards of offense, becoming the first team since the 1967 Falcons to give up at least 500 yards in each of the first two games of the season, according to Pro Football Reference. Oakland has allowed 1,035 yards through two games, the worst mark ever. Del Rio said he takes the blame.
"I take it way more personally than him because it's my defense and it's a shame," defensive lineman Khalil Macksaid. "It's a hurtful feeling."
RELIABLE TARGETS: Ryan frequently found his tight ends for big gains, completing 10 passes for 180 yards and a TD to Jacob Tamme , Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo.
REPRIEVE: The Falcons appeared to stop the Raiders on the opening drive of the second half before a bonehead penalty gave Oakland a second chance. Atlanta had 12 men on the field on the punt and Oakland got a first down when Del Rio challenged the play and officials ruled Dashon Goldson didn't get off the field in time. Four plays later, Carr found Clive Walford for a 31-yard TD pass that put the Raiders up 14-13.
RED ZONE SWING: The Falcons moved the ball fairly easily early in the game, but struggled to punch it in the end zone. The team's first three trips into the red zone ended in a pair of short field goals and an interception. Ryan twice completed third-down passes inside the 5 that came up short of the end zone, leading to field goals by Matt Bryant. In the third quarter, Ryan was late on a pass in the end zone to an open Jacob Tamme and David Amerson intercepted it . The Falcons then scored TDs on their next three red zone trips.
FIRST SACK: After getting just 19 sacks last season for the fewest in the NFL since 2009 and getting none in the opener, the Falcons got their first of the season against Carr. Vic Beasley forced Carr out of the pocket and Carr ran out of bounds for no gain, which officially counts as a sack. It was also the first allowed by Oakland this season.

Rivers throws 4 TD pass as Chargers rout Jaguars 38-14

 Philip Rivers couldn't help but saying it in the locker room at halftime.
"It's kind of funny, isn't it, up 21 again."
Unlike a week earlier, the San Diego Chargers didn't turn a three-touchdown lead into a soul-crushing loss. They added on, beating the mistake-prone Jacksonville Jaguars 38-14 Sunday.
Rivers matched his career high with four touchdown passes, including two to Travis Benjamin, and Melvin Gordon ran for one score and had his first 100-yard game
The Chargers (1-1) bounced back from their stunning loss at Kansas City, when they blew a 21-point third-quarter lead and fell 33-27 in overtime.
"It was huge. I'm glad it happened again right away," Rivers said. "It was good for us mentally to get that put to bed that in the sense, `When we're up 21, guys, we're going to win,' instead of that, `Oh, we're hanging on.' "
The Jaguars started 0-2 for the fourth time in five seasons. They crossed midfield only six times and committed three turnovers.
"I think we kind of took ourselves out of rhythm by doing stupid stuff, the turnovers and the penalties," Blake Bortlessaid.
Casey Hayward led the Chargers' defense with two interceptions of Bortles. His first set up a short drive Rivers capped with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin for a 14-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
Rivers threw a 2-yard scoring pass to tight end Antonio Gates for a 21-0 lead midway through the second period. That drive started after a missed 54-yard field goal by Jacksonville's Jason Myers, who went to Mater Dei High in suburban Chula Vista.
His third scoring pass went 44 yards to Tyrell Williams, who bounced off two defenders and broke two tackles just before going into the end zone in the third quarter.
Benjamin, signed as a free agent from Cleveland, caught a 45-yarder late in the third quarter.
Bortles threw TD passes of 4 yards to Marcedes Lewis and 15 to Corey Grant in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers lost a playmaker for the second straight week. Running back Danny Woodhead was helped off the field in the first quarter and taken to the locker room on a cart. The severity of the knee injury wasn't immediately known.
Star receiver Keenan Allen suffered a season-ending knee injury a week earlier.
What could be the Chargers final home opener in San Diego drew only 52,165 fans at 72,000-seat Qualcomm Stadium.
The Jags were coming off a four-point loss to Green Bay.
"I don't know if you're defined by one game," coach Gus Bradley said. "I think the big thing is to see how we'll respond from this."
HUNGRY GORDON: Gordon, a second-year pro, scored on a 3-yard run on the game's opening drive, his first TD at Qualcomm Stadium. Gordon went in standing up, and then right guard D.J. Fluker lifted him off the ground in celebration. He finished with 102 yards on 24 carries.
"It feels good," Gordon said. "I don't get overly excited about anything. It's early. I'm just hungry, man. But I am happy now. I definitely wanted it, so it's even better you get the 100-yard game with a win."
Gordon failed to score a TD during his rookie season, then scored twice at Kansas City.
ANTHEM: Chargers offensive linemen Joe Barksdale and Chris Hairston held up their right fists during the national anthem.
"It's just a solidarity thing," Barksdale said. "Chris has two kids, I have a daughter on the way. You never want to bury your kids. We still stand for the national anthem, we're happy to be in the country. At the same time, things need to change."
There was also a malfunction with a giant American flag as it was being unfurled on the field by Marines and U.S. Navy sailors. The flag appeared to have a big twist in the middle and couldn't be fully opened.
A SAN DIEGO INSTITUTION: Rivers and Gates have hooked up on 78 touchdown passes, the most in NFL history for a quarterback-tight end tandem. Gates has caught 80 TD passes since Rivers became the starter in 2006, but two were thrown by LaDainian Tomlinson on halfback option plays. Gates needs six more scoring catches to match Tony Gonzalez's all-time mark of 111 for a tight end.
WEST COAST WOES: The Jaguars fell to 2-11 on the West Coast and 0-4 in San Diego. The Jags haven't won on the West Coast since 2004 and have been outscored 260-93 during an eight-game losing streak, falling by double digits in seven of those.
INJURIES
Jaguars: LT Kelvin Beachum was taken to a hospital after sustaining a concussion late the third quarter. The stadium was hushed as he was placed on a back board and lifted onto a cart. The team said he was to be kept overnight for observation, returning to Jacksonville Monday. ... Jared Odrick hurt an elbow on the opening drive and returned. ...WRArrelious Benn sustained a cut on Jacksonville's first possession. The team didn't give further information. ... DT Roy Miller hurt his left hand.
Chargers: In addition to Woodhead, SS Jahleel Addae left with an apparent shoulder injury in the fourth period.

Palmer throws for 3 TDs, Winston picked off 4 times in rout

The Arizona Cardinals looked like the team they are supposed to be, often at the expense of Jameis Winston.
Carson Palmer threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cardinals intercepted Winston four times in a 40-7 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Marcus Cooper, acquired for a conditional draft pick in a trade with Kansas City on Sept. 2, had two interceptions, returning the second 60 yards for a score. Winston also fumbled the ball away once.
"It is a humbling league," Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said. "We got humbled today."
Winston, who had four touchdown passes against Atlanta in the opener and was NFC player of the week, threw 51 passes, the most in his two NFL seasons, completing 27 for 243 yards.
"We played one of the best defenses in the league," Winston said, "but all those interceptions are on me."
Palmer completed 18 of 31 passes with no interceptions before sitting out most of the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals lost at home to a depleted New England team in their season opener and bounced back in a big way.
"There was too much holding your breath (against the Patriots)," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "I thought we cut it loose today."
All three of Palmer's scoring passes came in the first half, to Larry FitzgeraldMichael Floyd and Jaron Brown.
The Cardinals (1-1), coming off a season-opening home loss to New England, scored two touchdowns in a 1:16 span in the final two minutes of the first half for a 24-0 lead into the break.
Winston had an especially rough first 30 minutes, completing 11 of 20 for 77 yards with two interceptions and a fumble.
The four turnovers led to 17 Arizona points.
Tampa Bay took the second-half kickoff and drove for a score. Mike Evans beating Patrick Peterson for a 19-yard TD.
The Buccaneers (1-1) got the ball back and were driving again when defensive lineman Josh Mauro tipped Winston's pass. Cooper grabbed it and outran defenders down the sideline to make it 33-7.
NEW CORNERBACK?: Arians said the plan was for rookie Brandon Williams and Cooper to alternate series, but once Cooper was in, he stayed in.
"He got hot," Arians said. "You don't take hot hands out."
Now Cooper may have the job all to himself.
"We'll see how it goes," Arians said. "He could potentially be the starter over there."
QUICK STRIKE: The Buccaneers were on their best drive of the first half when running back Charles Sims III brushed against Winston and the ball popped loose. Tony Jefferson recovered for Arizona at the Cardinals 29.
After the fumble recovery, Palmer's 24-yard pass to Fitzgerald eventually put the ball at the Tampa Bay 1. On third down, Palmer hit Michael Floyd in the back of the end zone and it was 17-0 with 1:36 to go in the half.
A quick three-and-out by the Buccaneers gave the Cardinals the ball at their 26, plenty of time for a high-octane offense finally getting in gear.
Jaron Brown got behind the defense and gathered in a perfect pass from Palmer for a 51-yard touchdown with 20 seconds still remaining until halftime.
WINSTON PICKED: Peterson outmaneuvered Mike Evans on Winston's deep pass to the end zone and intercepted .
Cooper returned an interception 23 yards to the Tampa Bay 19, leading to an Arizona field goal.
The third pick was Cooper again, for a touchdown. Winston's fourth interception came on the game's last play.
DO-EVERYTHING JOHNSON: The Buccaneers held David Johnson to 45 yards rushing in 12 attempts, but he caught three passes for 98 yards. The longest came on a check-down from Palmer, a play that went for 58 yards.
"I don't think you can find a weakness in his game," Palmer said.
NO SUBSTITUTION: Koetter got irritated when reporters kept questioning him on why he left Winston in the game when the outcome long had been determined.
"You could criticize me all you want," Koetter said. "He stayed in. The decision is made. So write what you are going to write."
INJURIES: Injuries hit the Buccaneers hard.
First, they lost tight Luke Stocker (ankle) in the first quarter. And after a 1-yard gain on Tampa Bay's first play of the second quarter, standout RB Doug Martin left with a hamstring injury.
Defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. left with an ankle injury late in the second quarter. Finally, wide receiver Cecil Shorts III left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter.

Touchdown-less Rams beat Seahawks 9-3 on Zuerlein's leg

The Rams were a certifiable hit in their return to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly 22 years. Now if they could just score a touchdown.
They have yet to find the end zone since leaving St. Louis, yet still managed to win their regular-season home debut on Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 9-3 on Greg Zuerlein's three field goals - the longest a 47-yarder in the fourth quarter.
The Rams (1-1) were shut out in a 28-0 loss at San Francisco in their season opener.
"Last week, to put it simple, we got embarrassed," wide receiver Kenny Britt said. "And so to come back like this is good for morale and good for our confidence."
Plenty of penalties slowed down the game for the announced crowd of 91,046 on a searing day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Rams marked the long-awaited occasion by wearing blue-and-gold throwback uniforms for their regular-season home debut.
"You most definitely want to set the tone, especially at home," safety Mark Barron said. "This is what we do at home. When we come home, we win."
With field goals accounting for all the offense, it was hardly the high-scoring show Los Angeles sports fans are known to crave.
At times, the dull roar of chatter was the loudest sound from the crowd until the fourth quarter when they were on their feet cheering the Rams' defense.
Alec Ogletree recovered a fumble by Seattle's Christine Michael at the Los Angeles 29 with 57 seconds left in the game, ending the Seahawks' last scoring bid.
"It kind of happened all so fast," Ogletree said. "I was kind of just roaming the field. I dropped like 30 yards deep, which I don't even think I was supposed to do. I just saw him (Russell Wilson) check it down, I just ran it down."
The drive included an incomplete pass from Wilson and a false start penalty on the Seahawks.
"It was just a great play by those guys," Michael said. "They played a tremendous game. I just got to do better, hold on to the ball in those situations."
Barron had 11 tackles and Ogletree added eight to lead the Rams' defense.
Seattle racked up 10 penalties for 114 yards; the Rams had nine penalties for 78 yards.
The teams put on a defensive slugfest, with passes getting broken up in the end zone, offensive drives ending in punts and neither quarterback airing it out much.
Wilson was 22 of 35 for 254 yards, getting sacked twice. He sprained his right ankle in last week's win over Miami.
Rams starter Case Keenum was 18 of 30 for 239 yards. He was sacked three times.
"I made sure as I'm running out just to savor that moment," Keenum said about emerging from the tunnel to flames and fireworks. "I'm going to remember it forever. It might not have been the prettiest game, but it was a lot of fun."
The victory extended the Rams' recent dominance against their NFC West rival. They've won four of their past five against the Seahawks, including both games last season. The Rams' defensive line has sacked Wilson 18 times in the past five meetings.
"We got to see them twice a year," Barron said, "so we want to establish that and let them know we are coming."
Zuerlein got the Rams on the board in the first quarter with a 39-yard field goal. The Seahawks (1-1) tied it on a 23-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka in the second.
Zuerlein put the Rams in front 6-3 on a 20-yarder with 1:04 left before halftime. Early in the fourth, he made it 9-3 on his longest kick of the game.
RED HOT
The temperature hit 88 degrees under cloudless skies and lead singer Anthony Kiedis stripped off his No. 16 Jared Goff jersey during the Red Hot Chili Peppers' pregame concert in the west end zone. A group of Rams Hall of Famers, including Jackie Slater, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Jack Youngblood helped light the Coliseum's torch, which also burned when the stadium hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
STILL WAITING
Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, was promoted to backup for the game after being the inactive third-stringer in the Rams' opening-week loss. Goff practiced with the first-team offense more often during the week, but has yet to make his regular-season debut.
HE SAID IT
"I like touchdowns, but I love winning," Keenum said.
BACK HOME
Seattle coach Pete Carroll returned to the Coliseum, where he oversaw Southern California's football dynasty for nine years that included two national championships before jumping to the NFL. Rams coach Jeff Fisher was back in the same stadium where he played for the Trojans in college. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman played for the first time near his hometown of Compton.
LBJ IN THE HOUSE
LeBron James of the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers attended the game as did members of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.
WORTH NOTING
The Rams sacked Wilson for an 8-yard loss and they recovered the ensuing fumble to end the first half. ... The last time the Rams wore their throwback uniforms was throughout the 1999 season, when they went 13-3 and won the Super Bowl. ... The Seahawks have scored a combined 15 points in their first two games, having beaten Miami 12-10 last week. ... The Rams shared the Hollywood spotlight Sunday with the Emmy Awards, which were being held up the street from the Coliseum.
UP NEXT
Seahawks: They host San Francisco next Sunday.
Rams: They travel east next Sunday to play Tampa Bay.

Joe Cool: Flacco rallies Ravens to 25-20 win over Browns

The Ravens were in a huge hole and about to be buried.
Joe Flacco dug them out.
Flacco threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Mike Wallace and Baltimore, sparked by returning a blocked extra point, rallied from 20 down and beat the Cleveland Browns 25-20 on Sunday.
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals - the last with 2:56 left - and the Ravens (2-0), who were down by nearly three touchdowns less than 10 minutes into the game, withstood Cleveland's final drive to improve to 15-2 against the Browns under coach John Harbaugh.
In his second game back after undergoing knee surgery that ended his 2015 season, Flacco again showed why he's one of the NFL's top quarterbacks and one of the game's most unflappable leaders.
"I've probably never been around someone as cool as Joe," said Wallace, who signed as a free agent this winter. "Nothing ever bothers him."
The Ravens scored 25 unanswered points and hung on when linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted Browns quarterbackJosh McCown at the goal line with 13 seconds left.
"It was a good way to end it, on defense," Mosley said. "We just had to pull it out."
Baltimore, which went an uncharacteristic 5-11 last season, was in danger of getting blown out after McCown's second TD pass to rookie Corey Coleman in the first quarter made it 20-0.
But Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy got a hand on Patrick Murray's extra point and rookie cornerback Tavon Young scooped up the bouncing ball and returned it for a rare, two-point defensive conversion - a play that ignited the comeback.
"Nobody cracked. Nobody panicked," Harbaugh said. "Nobody pointed a finger."
It was the second-biggest comeback in Baltimore's history, and Flacco told his teammates afterward he was proud to be part of it.
"It wasn't pretty, it wasn't great," he said. "Do you want to play that kind of game in September? Not necessarily, but every single game in January and come February, where we hope to be, is going to be like that."
McCown stayed in the game despite an injured left shoulder for the Browns (0-2), who were hurt by a missed field goal and three costly penalties in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland was driving for a go-ahead TD in the final minute behind McCown, who completed a 20-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor to the Baltimore 10 with 27 seconds left.
However, the big play was nullified because Pryor, who was held on the play by Webb, was called for taunting when he flipped the ball toward the Ravens defensive back.
Webb said he wasn't sure if Pryor said anything.
"If he said some things, I guess the referee heard it," Webb said. "They are real tough on those things now. Good call, that's what I'm going to say."
Pryor felt he did nothing wrong.
"I'm just saying there's other people that can catch a ball and spin it and look at players in the face," Pryor said. "But if I get up and drop the ball, clearly I wasn't trying to drop it on nobody."
HEAVY HEARTS: The Ravens dedicated the win to defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, who passed away Saturday at 65 from cancer.
Brooks joined Baltimore's staff in 2005 and helped the Ravens develop one of the NFL's top defensive fronts. He spent time with the team during training camp.
"That was for Clarence Brooks," Harbaugh said. "I think what the players did out there in his name says it all."
HURTING QB: Filling in for Robert Griffin III who broke a shoulder bone in last week's opener, McCown showed amazing heart in playing hurt.
Following the game, McCown couldn't lift his left arm and his eyes welled with tears as he talked about staying on the field. He said his "plan" is to play next week against Miami, but the Browns may have to turn to rookie Cody Kessler.
"I'd go to war with that guy anytime," Browns guard John Greco said of McCown. "That guy gets the (stuff) knocked out of him seven, eight times a game, keeps getting up and making throws."
STUNNING START: Nobody expected the Browns to do what they did in the first 15 minutes, which ended with them leading 20-2.
It was the team's largest lead after one quarter since Dec. 3, 1961, when the Browns led Dallas 21-0 en route to a 38-17 win.
BLOCK PARTY: Down 20-0 and needing something, anything, to get them going, the Ravens executed the blocked extra point, which Harbaugh said embodied his team's fight.
"It's the toughest two seconds in football," he said. "Then a rookie (Young) is exactly where he's supposed to be in case it gets blocked, he's right there to scoop and score. That's the kind of thing as a coach you feel really good about."
AS THE CROW FLIES: Isaiah Crowell's 85-yard TD run helped the Browns back finish with 133 overall. Taking a handoff up the middle, Crowell got an excellent block from fullback Malcolm Johnson, blasted through the secondary and went untouched for the second-longest TD run in Cleveland history. Bobby Mitchell ripped off a 90-yarder in 1959.