The Baltimore Ravens finally got the victory they needed to lock up the AFC North Division title.
Joe Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens defeated the New York Giants 33-14 Sunday to capture their second straight division crown.
The Ravens (10-5) led 24-7 at halftime and cruised to the finish behind a short-handed defense that harassed quarterback Eli Manning and limited New York (8-7) to 186 yards.
Playing its second game with Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator, Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and amassed a season-high 533 yards – including 289 in the first half alone.
The victory ended a three-game skid for the Ravens and assured them of a home playoff game in the first weekend of January.
New York has lost five of seven and was coming off a 34-0 defeat at Atlanta. In this one, Manning went 14 for 28 for 150 yards and was sacked three times.
Flacco, meanwhile, rebounded from a stretch in which he committed two turnovers in each of Baltimore’s three straight defeats. He completed 25 of 36 passes, ran for a score and did not throw an interception or lose a fumble.
Flacco repeatedly picked on New York cornerback Corey Webster, who simply couldn’t contain Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin. Smith caught five passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, and Boldin finished with seven receptions for 93 yards.
Ray Rice ran for 107 yards and caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Backup Bernard Pierce gained 123 yards rushing as part of a running attack that generated 224 yards.
Baltimore’s defense was also impressive despite the absence of injured linebackers Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain, along with safety Bernard Pollard.
The Ravens will travel to Cincinnati next Sunday for the season finale.