The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-23 in the second game of the preseason.
The Ravens were entering the game with one previous win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while the Falcons entered the game following a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The first quarter of Thursday's preseason game showed uncharacteristic play from the entire Ravens starting squad and how strong the Falcons first team offence really is. The Falcons rebounded well after only scoring 10 total points against a very strong Bengals team. The Ravens first team defence gave up 11 first downs and 20 points by halftime.
Despite the poor showing of the Ravens starters, Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 7 of his 9 passes while throwing for 118 yards and an interception. The only bright point for the Ravens in the first half was a 77 yard touchdown reception by wide receiver, Torrey Smith.
The Falcons were taking advantage of the Ravens early mistakes and were able to move the ball more effectively than the defending Super Bowl champions. The Falcons ran a total of 21 plays in the first quarter while gaining first downs on 10 of those plays. The Ravens ran only 18 plays in the whole first half and other than Smith's touchdown reception, gained only 54 yards and 3 first downs.
Frustration was evident on the Ravens sideline as they departed the field at halftime. Tyrod Taylor, the Ravens backup quarterback would come in with the Ravens down 23-7.
Taylor completed 5 of his 9 pass attempts for a total of 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Ravens two touchdown receptions were caught by rookie Aaron Mellette and third year receiver Tandon Doss.
With just under 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Ravens were trailing by only 3 points. Ravens cornerback, Asa Jackson returned a punt 78 yards downfield for the eventual winning score. After the extra point the Ravens led for the first time since the first quarter. The Ravens rookies came in on defence and were able to preserve the 27-23 victory.
As proud as the Ravens were to pull of the win, the team will work to fix its mistakes as they host the Carolina Panthers next Thursday for the third preseason game of the 2013 season.
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