Flacco throws five TDs as top quarterbacks enjoy wins

Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:05pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Joe Flacco threw five touchdown passes, four of them in a remarkable first quarter, as the Baltimore Ravens crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-17 on a day when the league’s elite quarterbacks came up big.

Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns as the New England Patriots beat AFC East divisional rivals Buffalo 37-22 while Peyton Manning’s three touchdown passes helped the Denver Broncos defeat the New York Jets 31-17.

Aaron Rodgers’ third touchdown in Miami was a game-winner with three seconds left on the clock as the Green Bay Packers beat the Dolphins 27-24 in a thriller.

The Ravens move to 4-2 on the season after a one-sided victory in Tampa where Flacco took full advantage of a depleted Bucs secondary.

Flacco found Torrey Smith with touchdown passes twice in the opening six minutes and the game was over as a contest when Flacco found Steve Smith on a 56-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter for the Ravens' fifth touchdown in 16:03 minutes – the fastest five-touchdown performance since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Flacco finished with 21 of 29 passes completed, throwing for 306 yards and the five scores as Lovie Smith’s trouble Tampa Bay fell to 1-5.

Early season talk about the decline of the New England Patriots and their quarterback looks a little premature after Bill Belichick’s team took sole control of the AFC East, moving to 4-2, after their win at Buffalo.

Brady sealed the victory with a 56-yard pass to Brandon LaFell, the wide receivers' second touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, and finished with 361 passing yards.   Continued...

Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports