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Flacco bounces back in win over Browns

Joe Flacco bounced back mightily, throwing three touchdowns to Anquan Boldin in a 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.

It was a celebratory home opener for the Ravens and Flacco.

A week ago, Flacco threw a career-worst four interceptions. On Sunday, before a sellout crowd at M&T; Bank Stadium, he threw for 262 yards and bailed out a struggling run defense.

After the Ravens fell behind 17-14 in the fourth quarter, Flacco answered with a 27-yard touchdown to Boldin. Facing an all-out blitz, Flacco lofted the ball to Boldin, who only had to run under the ball after beating cornerback Eric Wright -- a recurring trend throughout the game.

Flacco was 6-for-7 for 78 yards on that drive, which put the Ravens up, 21-17, with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens (2-1) tacked on a Billy Cundiff field goal later in the fourth quarter to complete their fifth straight win over the Browns (0-3).

The game got off to a rough start for Flacco. His first pass was nearly picked off for a touchdown, but Browns rookie safety T.J. Ward let the ball bounce off his hands with no one between him and the end zone.

After Cleveland jumped ahead 3-0, Flacco marched the Ravens down the field on consecutive drives.

He completed 5 of 7 passes for 52 yards and hit Boldin on an 8-yard touchdown. On his first touchdown as a Raven, Boldin slipped past Wright and made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone.

Flacco then hit all five of his passes for 75 yards on a series that began at his own 7-yard line and found a wide-open Boldin for a 12-yard touchdown. Boldin simply made a move to the inside against Wright, who was guessing a route to the corner of the end zone.

Flacco's two touchdowns -- he had only one in the first two weeks -- moved the Ravens ahead, 14-3, in the second quarter.

Cleveland inched to within 14-10 at the end of the first half, when Peyton Hillis scored on a 1-yard touchdown. It marked the first touchdown scored against the Ravens defense this season, ending its streak at nine quarters. Hillis, a backup who was replacing the injured Jerome Harrison, powered his way to 73 yards rushing in the first half.

The Browns then went ahead, 17-14, on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Seneca Wallace threw a 1-yard pass to tight end Ben Watson. But it was still Hillis who moved the ball against the Ravens, breaking a 48-yard gain on the series.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com
twitter.com/jamisonhensley

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