BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco’s final throw was a touchdown pass, providing a positive ending to an uneven performance by the Baltimore Ravens’ first-team offense.
Robert Griffin III concluded his horrid outing with an interception, leaving the Washington Redskins much to consider in the wake of a 23-17 preseason defeat Saturday night.
If this was a dress rehearsal for the regular season, the Ravens had reason to be encouraged. Flacco went 16 for 23 for 180 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown throw to Steve Smith with 25 seconds left in the first half.
Although the Ravens (3-0) twice failed on fourth-and-1 runs and gained only 37 yards on the ground in the first half, they performed the two-minute drill to near perfection for first-year offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Griffin, on the other hand, never found his groove. The third-year quarterback went 5 for 7 for 20 yards in the first half and was sacked three times. He returned in the third quarter and threw just one pass, an interception by rookie C.J. Mosley deep in Washington territory.
Griffin also dropped a snap and gained 3 yards on three impromptu runs.
“I think we did a pretty good job of containing him and getting after him,” Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said.
At least Griffin didn’t get hurt, and that’s about the best that can be said of his night.
Backup Kirk Cousins went 14 for 20 for 122 yards and two touchdowns, but it’s very likely he will be on the sideline when the Redskins (2-1) open the season at Houston on Sept. 7.
The Ravens, meanwhile, showed signs they’re ready to bounce back from an 8-8 season.
Flacco went 6 for 8 for 74 yards during that 74-yard drive at the end of the second quarter. Steve Smith finished with six catches for 80 yards and Torrey Smith had four catches for 41 yards.
“We moved the ball well tonight, but I would have liked to have scored more,” Flacco said.
After Bernard Pierce got stuffed by Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson on a fourth-and-1 to end the game’s first series at midfield, Washington used a 19-yard run by Alfred Morris and a pass interference call to set up a field goal.
Pierce left later in the first quarter to be examined for a concussion after being tackled in the backfield by a blitzing Brandon Meriweather. Pierce did not return and finished with minus-3 yards on four carries. He is expected to start the first two regular-season games while Ray Rice serves a suspension for domestic violence.
The period ended with Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro being stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 from the Washington 11.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)