As you pick through the remains of the turkey and scrape the bottom of the mashed potatoes bowl — or try to finally enjoy a turkey-induced nap as I was unable to do on Thursday — we take a final look back at the Ravens’ first ever Thanksgiving game.
– Of course, the story of the night was one of the finest defensive performances by the Ravens in recent memory — without Ray Lewis, ironically — as they tied a franchise record with nine sacks. It ranks as the second most in an NFL game this season, topped only by Buffalo’s 10 sacks against the Washington Redskins in Toronto on Oct. 30. It topped the previous season high of six against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8.
The relentless effort matched the Ravens’ nine sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26, 2006 in a 27-0 blowout at M&T Bank Stadium famously known for the violent hit Bart Scott delivered to Ben Roethlisberger. Baltimore also record nine sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 16, 1997, a game that ended in a 10-10 tie at old Memorial Stadium.
Baltimore also continued the impressive streak of 19 consecutive games without allowing an opponent to score on its opening drive of the game.
– Three defensive players tied or set a career high in sacks on Thursday night as Terrell Suggs matched his personal best with three sacks, Haloti Ngata tied his best total with two, and Cory Redding set a career best with 2 1/2 sacks.
It was the second time this season Suggs had reached the three-sack mark after doing it in the season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11. The Ravens are an impressive 47-17 all time when Suggs records a sack and 12-1 when the Pro Bowl linebacker tallies at least two sacks.
Redding’s previous career high was two when he played for the Detroit Lions on Nov. 12, 2006 against the 49ers.
– While 16 points and 253 yards won’t raise many eyebrows, the Ravens offense was efficient in completing only its second turnover-free game of the season, the other coming against the Steelers in Week 1. Baltimore did not allow a sack for the first time this season as the offensive line did an exceptional job in protecting quarterback Joe Flacco.
The effort allowed Flacco to continue his impressive play at M&T Bank Stadium where he has now won 16 of his last 17 home starts. The fourth-year quarterback has completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 4,038 yards, 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions over that stretch, good for a 98.4 quarterback rating.
– With his 83 total yards against a formidable San Francisco defense, Ray Rice moved into second place on the Ravens’ all-time yards from scrimmage list. The running back passed wide receiver Derrick Mason and now has 1,259 yards from scrimmage this season.
Rice only trails former running back Jamal Lewis, who accumulated 9,166 scrimmage yards from 2000 to 2006.
– Much has been made about Billy Cundiff’s struggles from 50 yards and out, but the kicker has been flawless on field goal tries in the fourth quarter since 2010. Cundifff is a perfect 14-for-14 after connecting on a 39-yard field goal with 3:10 left in the fourth quarter on Thursday night.
– The Ravens are now 9-2 all time when wearing their black jerseys, including a 6-0 mark under coach John Harbaugh. It was the fourth time Baltimore has donned the alternate jersey with white pants, a look in which the Ravens are undefeated
The win over San Francisco improved the Ravens’ mark in prime-time games to 9-5 under Harbaugh and earned them their first Thursday win in four tries. The Ravens had previously lost Thursday night games against Kansas City in 1999, Cincinnati in 2006, and Atlanta in 2010.
The Ravens are now 29-5 when scoring first in a game during the Harbaugh era. Cundiff’s 39-yard field goal in the first quarter gave them a 3-0 lead, and Baltimore improved to 6-0 when striking first this season.
Baltimore is now 8-3 for just the second time in team history, matching its mark through 11 games last season. However, the impressive record trails the 9-2 start the Ravens posted when it finished a franchise-best 13-3 in 2006.