Baltimore Ravens 44
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16
It may have been just a teaser trailer for what is to come for the Baltimore Ravens, but they looked pretty sharp all around in their preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Quarterback Joe Flacco (7/9, 57 yds) looked sharp despite an interception, and running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce combined for 6 carries for 28 yards and a TD. Tailback Anthony Allen Anthony Allen even got into the mix, adding another 27 yards and a score.
On defense, Chris Canty and Adrian Hamilton both had a sack for the Ravens, and second-year cornerback Asa Jackson looked very impressive, finishing with two tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble. As the night went on Baltimore rookie defensive backs Brandon Copeland and Mo Lee also racked up INT’s, and overall the unit looked in sync for their first preseason game.
One of the Ravens more impressive players of the game, however, was second-string quarterback Tyrod Taylor, third year quarterback out of Virginia Tech.
Taylor finished the night 13/23 with 154 yards and two touchdowns, with another 27 rushing yards. If anything, he proved again that the Ravens have a solid backup QB on their hands, and a nice contrast to the pocket passer that is Joe Flacco.
Wide receivers LaQuan Williams and Aaron Mellette were the lucky recipients of Taylor’s touchdown passes, and showed the franchise their depth in the receiving core, even after the loss of Pro-Bowler Anquan Boldin.
Overall, the roster looks sharp for the 2013 Baltimore Ravens, even after losing two future hall-of-famers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. If the team is able to continue their success into the regular in some key early games, then they will again be in contention for the league title.
The Ravens’ next preseason matchup will be Thursday versus the Atlanta Falcons, while their regular season opener will be in the Thursday night NFL kickoff, September 5th against the Denver Broncos.