|Date of game: 9/28/2014
Recap: Baltimore vs. Carolina
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Steve Smith Sr. talked a big game leading up to his first bout with his former team and the veteran receiver delivered, hauling in two touchdown passes to help the Baltimore Ravens crush the Carolina Panthers 38-10 on Sunday.
Joe Flacco completed 22-of-31 passes for 327 yards and three scores for Baltimore (3-1), winners in three straight following a Week 1 loss to Cincinnati.
Smith, who spent the first 13 seasons of his illustrious career with Carolina, took jabs at his former quarterback Cam Newton leading up to the game. He backed it up by making seven catches for 139 yards, while Newton was subpar for a second straight week guiding Carolina's offense.
"I'm 35-years-old and I ran around those guys like they were schoolyard kids," said Smith.
Playing through various injuries, Newton threw for 197 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-25 passing, but struggled in the second half as the game got away from the Panthers (2-2).
"I don't feel like I've played good enough football yet," Newton said. "If I felt that way, we'd be 4-0 right now."
Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro split the carries for Baltimore and combined for 124 yards with one touchdown apiece.
Carolina's DeAngelo Williams left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He and Darrin Reaves gained only 60 total yards on 23 carries.
Smith burned his old team for a 61-yard touchdown on Baltimore's second possession of the game. On 3rd-and-2 from the Baltimore 39, Flacco overthrew tight end Owen Daniels, who got a fingertip on the pass and deflected it right into Smith's arms. The veteran receiver caught it in stride and went untouched to the end zone.
"I saw OD, but I was already on my horse running," Smith said of the play. "OD tipped it, and I was still running so I caught it."
Kelvin Benjamin found the end zone on Carolina's next possession to tie the score, but the rookie nearly made a crucial mistake earlier in the drive. On 2nd-and-8 from the Panthers 22, Benjamin appeared to make a short catch and fumble the football. Baltimore recovered, but the ball was ruled incomplete and a challenge review confirmed the call.
Newton led a 10-play drive and found Benjamin for a 21-yard score near the left pylon to tie the score.
The next series belonged to Forsett. Baltimore's so-called change-of-pace back carried three times for 41 yards and broke a number of tackles on his way to an 11-yard rushing score.
Carolina went three-and-out, and just after the two-minute warning, Flacco lofted a fade to Smith in the back of the end zone. He was interfered with but still made a diving grab for his second touchdown of the day.
It was Smith's first multi-touchdown game since Newton's NFL debut in Week 1 of 2011.
Another Panthers punt and Forsett's 17-yard run set up a 57-yard Justin Tucker field goal try, but the kick was off the mark and Baltimore owned a 21-7 lead at the break.
The Ravens were forced to punt on their first drive after halftime, but a penalty on the Panthers gave the ball right back. Torrey Smith drew a pass interference to move Baltimore down the field and later in the drive, caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to make it 28-7.
Graham Gano's 37-yard field goal with 3:30 left in the third resulted in Carolina's final points, but Baltimore wasn't done.
Taliaferro muscled his way into the end zone from a yard out early in the fourth, and Tucker nailed a 30-yarder to cap the scoring.Game Notes
Smith left Carolina as its all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and
receiving touchdowns ... Baltimore outgained Carolina 454-315 ... Jerricho
Cotchery and Benjamin each made five grabs for 80 and 76 yards, respectively.