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Ravens set points record in 55-20 rout of Raiders

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Ravens set points record in 55-20 rout of Raiders

BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Ravens waited two months to put together a complete game.

It finally happened, in record-breaking fashion, and the timing couldn't have been better.

Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Jacoby Jones ran a kickoff 105 yards, and Baltimore set a club record for points in a 55-20 rout of the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

It was a rare blowout for the AFC North-leading Ravens, who won their previous five games by a total of 23 points.

Next up: The Pittsburgh Steelers on the road next Sunday night.

``We focused all week on the Raiders, but in the back of our minds we knew the Steelers were coming,'' offensive tackle Michael Oher said. ``It's always good when you can score a lot of points. It's something to build on.''

The Ravens (7-2) scored on six of their first seven possessions, special teams contributed two touchdowns and Torrey Smith caught TD passes of 47 and 20 yards.

And the defense did its part, even though defensive tackle Haloti Ngata sat out the game with a bruised shoulder and cornerback Jimmy Smith stayed on the sideline with a groin injury. Baltimore was already without injured linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb.

``It's a confidence booster on all ends,'' running back Ray Rice said. ``When you have a defense without Haloti and Ray Lewis, you can see those guys really stepped up. In addition, offense excelled in the pass today.''

Burned for 251 yards on the ground last week by Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin in a 42-32 defeat, Oakland shored up its run defense to stop Rice. So Flacco went to the air, repeatedly hitting tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson over the middle in the first half before going long and outside to Smith in the third quarter.

Flacco went 21 for 33 and did not play in the fourth quarter.

Rice ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He finished the afternoon with 5,034 yards rushing for his career, joining Jamal Lewis as the only players in Ravens history to top 5,000.

Flacco and the resurgent Baltimore offense made it look easy against the struggling Raiders (3-6), who have yielded at least 40 points in two straight games for the first time since 1962. The 55 points tied an Oakland record for points allowed, set in 1961 and matched in 1981.

``We had too many mental errors on defense, gave up too many big plays, we turned the ball over too many times and we didn't execute on special teams,'' Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. ``When you do those things, it generally results in something like that.''

It all added up to the Ravens' most lopsided win since a 44-13 dismantling of Cincinnati in the season opener.

Baltimore led 27-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, Smith scored twice and holder Sam Koch scored on a fake field goal to make it 48-17.

In the fourth quarter, Jones scored on a kickoff return for the second time this season for a 55-20 lead. Baltimore's previous record for points in a game was 48, against Detroit in December 2009.

``Obviously, we had success,'' said Flacco, who also ran for a score. ``We ran the game plan and it worked well. We stuck with it. We scored points early and continued to score them.''

Baltimore has 15 straight home wins, the longest current streak in the NFL. They haven't been 7-2 since 2006.

Carson Palmer went 29 for 45 for 368 yards and two touchdowns for Oakland. He was mercifully pulled in the fourth quarter.

``Rough, rough, rough, rough game,'' Palmer said. ``We didn't play any good in any facet of the game. Came in and got outplayed by a good football team. It's very frustrating. We got to put this one in our rear view mirror, because it's going to be a tough one to get past.''

Playing without injured running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, the Raiders gained only 72 yards on the ground.

Baltimore didn't punt until the third quarter, and even that turned out well. Phillip Adams fumbled, the Ravens recovered the ball and Flacco promptly threw a touchdown pass to Smith.

Later in the quarter, Koch ran 7 yards for a touchdown to cap a 74-yard drive.

NOTES: Oakland LB Travis Goethel left in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return. Oakland CB Michael Huff was kicked in calf, and S Matt Giordano and TE Brandon Myers sustained concussions. ... Baltimore is 7-1 against Oakland (including playoffs) and 5-0 at home. ... Jones is the first Ravens player to have two KO returns for TDs.

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Rare spinal conditon forced Zach Orr to retire

Rare spinal conditon forced Zach Orr to retire

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens inside linebacker Zach Orr had no choice but to retire, after a physical examination detected a spinal condition that made it extremely dangerous for him to continue his career.

“I have a condition that I was born with,” Orr said Friday, making his formal retirement announcement during a press conference. “I’m forced to walk away from the game of football.”

Orr said a CAT scan revealed a rare congenital abnormality, and that the top of his spinal column had never fully developed. Orr was never aware of his issue until he suffered a shoulder injury against the Steelers on Christmas that led to further testing.

While Orr never imagined he would retire at age 24, he felt blessed to be leaving the game before his condition led to a catastrophic injury. Orr has been playing football with his spinal condition since he was nine years old, and said doctors could not explain how he had played so long without his issue being detected.

“When I first found out the news, it was shocking,” Orr said. “Football is something I’ve done my whole life.”

Orr said retirement was his only option, because he would never pass an NFL physical. He also said that reports the Ravens tried to talk him out of retirement were inaccurate.

“They’ve supported me through this,” said Orr, who added that one of his high school teammates was paralyzed playing football.

Orr kept his composure during the press conference, but admitted he took the news hard at first. One of those emotional moments came after a telephone conversation with recently retired wide receiver Steve Smith Sr.

“I broke down a couple of times, as recent as a couple of days ago,” Orr said.

Three of Orr’s teammates attended Friday’s press conference – linebackers C. J. Mosley and Albert McClellan, and safety Eric Weddle. General manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and linebackers coach Don Martindale were also in attendance. Orr is one of the most popular and respected players in the locker room. An undrafted free agent in 2014, Orr made the team as a special teams standout and earned a starting job for the first time this season. He led the Ravens in tackles (130), finishing 10th in the NFL in that department.

Orr had a bright future as a player. Now, that future will head in another direction.

“Instead of asking – ‘Why me?, ask ‘What’s next?’” Orr said.

“I’m very proud that he’s been a Raven,” said Harbaugh. “I can’t wait to see what the next door holds.”

Related: Ravens name their new offensive line coach

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Ravens linebacker Zach Orr to retire due to shoulder injury

Ravens linebacker Zach Orr to retire due to shoulder injury

Ravens starting inside linebacker Zach Orr has decided to retire due to a serious shoulder injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Only 24 years old, Orr led the Ravens in tackles last season after winning a starting job for the first time, and his career was trending upward. Losing Orr, an undrafted free agent from North Texas, leaves the Ravens with another void to fill after a disappointing 8-8 season.

The Ravens scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference Friday in which further details on Orr’s retirement were expected.

Orr played in all but one game last season, but sat out the season finale with what was termed a neck injury. He is one of the team’s most popular players in the locker room, working his way from undrafted free agent, to special teams standout, to starter.

Related: Steve Smith addresses coaching rumors