Ravens rout Steelers in opener

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, Haloti Ngata led an inspired defense that forced a team-record seven turnovers, and the Baltimore Ravens defeated the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 Sunday.

Ray Rice ran for 107 yards and scored twice for the Ravens, who bolted to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never let up against their bitter rivals. It was a rematch of a second-round playoff matchup last January, when the Steelers rallied to beat Baltimore 31-24.

In that game, the Ravens let a 21-7 halftime lead evaporate with three turnovers in the third quarter. This time, the Ravens got three takeaways in the third quarter to turn a 21-7 advantage into a rout.

Ngata was the driving force, causing a fumble and deflecting a pass that produced an interception.

Pittsburgh's eight-game winning streak in season openers ended.

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