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Joe Flacco unstoppable in Ravens' rout of Buccaneers

Joe Flacco tossed five touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes of Sunday's game, leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 48-17 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Our takeways:

  1. Flacco reached five touchdowns in a game faster than any quarterback since the 1970 merger. The Ravens should be in the top five in total offense by the end of the day. The last time that happened was 1996, the first year of their existence. Flacco has had hiccups against the Bengals and Colts, but Gary Kubiak's scheme suits him better than any of his seven-year career.
  1. In his first six games with the Bucs, Lovie Smith's squad has produced two of the most embarrassing first-half performances we have ever seen. The problems are the same as the ones that were evident in the Week 3 blowout in Atlanta. Smith's zone defense allows free releases with open wide receivers roaming through the secondary. There's a lack of team speed. The offensive line can't protect the quarterback, and Mike Glennon has barely moved the offense in the first halves of the past three games.
  1. The Ravens made a concerted effort to get Torrey Smith off the schneid, and he responded with a pair of touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game. Steve Smith took over from there, jump-starting his afternoon by toasting Alterraun Verner for a 56-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The ageless wonder is now on pace for 93 receptions, 1,528 yards and 11 touchdowns.
  1. Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro was removed from the Ravens backfield committee that is clearly led by Justin Forsett. The coaching staff has been reluctant to saddle up the undersized Forsett as a true featured back, but he's now averaging a gaudy 6.4 yards per on 64 carries. He has easily been the best fit for Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme.
  1. The Ravens' defense hit Glennon 15 times, led by four from Terrell Suggs and three from Defensive Rookie of the Year front runner C.J. Mosley. They rank third in the NFL, surrendering just 16.2 points per game. If Flacco stays hot, Baltimore has the well-rounded club to compete with the Bengals for the AFC North crown.
  1. Doug Martin is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry since his impressive rookie season. Journeyman Bobby Rainey has outplayed him over the past two years.
  1. Ravens seventh-round rookie Michael Campanaro capitalized on Marlon Brown's (pelvis) absence, hauling in a 19-yard touchdown for his first NFL reception.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around the NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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