With the exception of a single spin move by Dallas Cowboys star outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware to get past left offensive tackle Michael Oher and tackle quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens provided their quarterback with impressive protection.During a 31-29 victory over the Cowboys at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens' offensive line held up well overall as they surrendered just three quarterback hits and one sack.
"We got the victory, and Joe had decent time to throw the ball on a lot of plays," Oher said. "That's what we want. We're happy to be 5-1 and go to Houston.
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The Ravens had allowed four sacks in a 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, but had much better pass protection this game.
"We did a good job all day up front," said Flacco, who completed 17 of 26 passes for 234 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.9 quarterback rating. "They're a pretty physical defense. They're a good defense, and they've got guys that can get to the passer. So, I think we did a good job all day of limiting that and getting the ball out of my hands. I think our receivers did a good job of beating the coverage pretty quickly, so I didn't have to hold onto it too long."
On the sack by Ware, offensive guard Bobbie Williams, who started his first game in replacing Ramon Harewood, got bull-rushed to the ground by defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.
"I think I did pretty well," Williams said. "I did trip that one play. I always think you can do better. I'm going to beat this film up and find a way."
Rookie offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele allowed two sacks and four quarterback pressures against the Chiefs, but improved this game blocking Victor Butler except for one pass deflection of a Flacco pass in the end zone.
The Ravens' line was given some sharp criticism during the week from the coaching staff.
"We knew we had a challenge," said Osemele, a second-round draft pick from Iowa State. "Coach [John Harbaugh] kind of called us out a bit. We responded and answered the bell, pride on the line and everything.
"On that one play, I need to stay square. I've got to get a better feel for plays like that. I didn't want to open the inside and prevent instant pressure. He ran around the edge and made a pretty good play."
Getting the Cowboys blocked is an accomplishment, according to six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk.
"They're as legit as there is," Birk said. "They're stacked with talent. DeMarcus Ware, everyone knows about him. Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee, one of the best linebackers I've ever played against. And they're very well-coached and have great schemes. We were fighting tooth-and-nail for every single yard we could get."