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(Sunday, November 21st)
Final Score: Baltimore 37, Carolina 13
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Joe Flacco threw for 301 yards and one touchdown, and Billy Cundiff made three field goals as Baltimore used a late surge of defense to subdue Carolina, 37-13, at Bank of America Stadium.
"I don't think we played as well as we wanted to at times," Flacco said. "We felt like we should have played better in the second half, but these teams are all good. You can't look at a record because they're going to come out and play hard. When you let them have success, they will play harder."
Ray Rice posted 65 yards and one TD on 19 carries for the Ravens (7-3), who recovered from a 26-21 loss at Atlanta last Thursday to win for the third time in four games. Baltimore remained in a tie atop the AFC North after Pittsburgh downed Oakland, 35-3, later Sunday.
Rice added 66 yards on six receptions, while T.J. Houshmandzadeh contributed a 56-yard touchdown reception. Dawan Landry and Ray Lewis posted consecutive fourth-quarter interception returns for touchdowns.
Making his first career start, Brian St. Pierre completed only 13-of-28 passes for 173 yards, an 88-yard score to David Gettis, and the two costly picks for the Panthers (1-9), losers in four straight.
"I thought he did real well early in the game. A couple of those (throws) he was not all to blame," said Panthers head coach John Fox of his starter. "Right now if Jimmy (Clausen) is healthy, he gives us the best chance to win. If not, then that's a problem we will get to."
Mike Goodson racked up 120 yards on 22 carries for Carolina.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, St. Pierre unloaded a deep pass for Gettis, who raced 88 yards to bring Carolina within 20-13. It was the second- longest play from scrimmage in franchise history.
Two Ravens series later, Cundiff was able to hit a 49-yard field goal with 5:55 to play and the visitors led by 10. On the ensuing Panthers drive, St. Pierre was picked off by Ed Reed at the Carolina 42-yard line. He managed to snake through tacklers before throwing a lateral to Landry, who ended the play with a successful dive for the end zone.
On the next Panthers play, Lewis stepped in front of another St. Pierre pass and soloed 24 yards into the end zone to wrap up the game at 37-13.
"We just turned out their lights," Reed said of the late burst. "We did let them stick around and you can't do that. It was only a matter of time. We knew St. Pierre was going to be cautious with the ball. It was a matter of time until our guys were where they had to be."
The Ravens struck on their first drive of the game when Flacco connected with Houshmandzadeh on a 56-yard touchdown. Baltimore went up 10-0 with a 22-yard make from Cundiff with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
Late in the first, Goodson's 45-yard run to the Ravens' 35 set up Carolina's first score of the game, as John Kasay drilled a 45-yarder early in the second quarter.
It was 17-3 for the visitors with 1:57 left before halftime when Rice rolled in from the one. The score capped a 51-yard, eight-play series.
Baltimore's David Reed took the second-half kickoff 84 yards to the Panthers' 18, but the Ravens failed to advance the ball. Cundiff was able to drill a 33- yard try and it was 20-3 less than a minute into the third quarter.
Captain Munnerlyn returned the ensuing kick 64 yards to the Baltimore 25, but the Panthers offense stalled and Kasay hit a 40-yarder.
"Especially after we worked so hard to get ready, I feel bad for the guys in that room," Fox added. "Especially those who are still healthy and still fighting, they're not getting the results we desire."
This was Flacco's first 300-yard performance of the season and first since throwing for 385 yards in a 33-31 loss at Minnesota on October 18, 2009. He tied Vinny Testaverde for tops on the Ravens all-time touchdown pass list with 51...Carolina had won all three previous meetings...St. Pierre was taken in the fifth round of the 2003 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Boston College and completed only 2-of-5 passes for 12 yards, including one touchdown and an interception, prior to Sunday...Lewis' 30 career interceptions are the most of any active linebacker...Reed posted his 50th career pick...Houshmandzadeh's TD catch was his 600th career reception...Ravens WR Derrick Mason, who had three catches for 42 yards, reached the 900-reception mark.
11/21 18:32:18 ET