Ravens get job done, beat Bucs 17-10

Joe Flacco threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 17-10, before an announced crowd of 70,989 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

The Ravens' eighth straight home win -- the longest current streak in the NFL (including playoffs) -- improved them to 8-3 and set up next Sunday's battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North.

The Buccaneers (7-4) still haven't beaten a team with a winning record this season.

The Ravens won the game in the second quarter when they jumped on the Buccaneers for 17 points, which matches their most points scored in a quarter this season.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the second quarter, Flacco threw touchdown passes to two wide-open targets, tight end Todd Heap and wide receiver Derrick Mason.

An uncovered Heap caught the pass 20 yards downfield and outran the Buccaneers for 45 yards to the end zone. The 65-yard touchdown catch was the longest of Heap's 10-year career and was the longest play from scrimmage for the Ravens this season.

On the Ravens' next drive, Flacco orchestrated the two-minute drive which started and ended with Mason. He connected with Mason for completions of six and seven yards. A 24-yard pass interference penalty on Tampa Bay (it came in coverage against T.J. Houshmandzadeh) set up the Ravens in the red zone.

Flacco's seventh completion of the half to Mason went for a 10-yard touchdown to stake the Ravens to a 17-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the first half. Lining up in the slot, Mason used a stutter step to fake out safety Sean Jones and get open in the middle of the end zone.

The third quarter was a frustrating one for the Ravens with the officials. Ray Rice's 76-yard touchdown run -- which would have put the Ravens by 21 points -- was negated by a questionable illegal block in the back by wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Later in the quarter, Cory Redding's first career interception -- which would have put the Ravens at the Tampa Bay 11 -- was overruled by a replay challenge because he didn't have possession of the ball when he went to the ground.

Tampa Bay, which has only outscored teams in the fourth quarter this season, didn't get into the end zone until that quarter. Tight end Kellen Winslow's leaping 5-yard touchdown grab closed the Buccaneers within 17-10 with 3:05 remaining in the game.


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