Ravens rest Haloti Ngata ahead of tough stretch of games

Dealing with a sprained right knee and right shoulder injury, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata didn't play a single snap during the Ravens' 55-20 win Sunday over the Oakland Raiders.

Ngata was active, but missed his first game this season as he was rested ahead of key upcoming games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers.

"We were hoping that we wouldn't have to play him," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It turned out that we didn't have to play him."

Ngata was limited to two tackles over the previous two games, including no tackles against the Cleveland Browns.

"I feel awesome," Ngata said on Sunday. "It was more precautionary. I could have played."

Rookie defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson, a seventh-round draft pick from Georgia, started his first NFL game and recorded two pass deflections and one quarterback hit.

Now, the Ravens are hoping Ngata will be refreshed for next week's road AFC North showdown against the Steelers.

"It really helps to get him some rest," middle linebacker Jameel McClain said. "We all know that he's a force in this league, and he'll be back at 100 percent."

Meanwhile, starting cornerback Jimmy Smith was held out due to a groin injury.

Corey Graham started in his place, and Chykie Brown lined up in the nickel package.

Smith has been dealing with the injury for weeks, but the team was concerned with how he looked before kickoff.

"Jimmy was having a tough time getting warmed up," Harbaugh said. "It just did not work for him with the tightness in his groin that he's been experiencing. We're going to have to take a hard look at that Monday and just see where he's at.

"This is the first time it has gotten to the point where he just couldn't get loose enough to play. We tried him again at halftime and he was unable to get loose enough."

Trick play works

Punter Sam Koch bolted into the end zone untouched on a fake field goal in the third quarter, scoring his first NFL touchdown on a 7 -yard run.

The touchdown was his first since his senior year of high school growing up in Nebraska. Last year, Koch scored a two-point conversion on a fake extra point run against Pittsburgh.

The Ravens practiced the play all week after noticing that the Raiders' field goal block team overloaded to the right with eight players.

"They gave us the look that we wanted, it opened up and the guys up front did a great job blocking," Koch said. "They definitely helped with the backside, and the three guys on the left side."

The score boosted the Ravens' lead to 48-17, which seemed like piling on to Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.

"When you're up thirty-something in the third quarter, would you fake a field goal?" Kelly said. "Even if you do run it, we've got to stop it."