Aug 23, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) gains yardage after his catch against the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens: Steve Smith Scores First Touchdown as Raven In 23-17 Victory

The first half of the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 win over the Washington Redskins was dominated by the defenses. For a second straight week, the Ravens defense got fans excited with their excellent play.

The Redskins went three-and-out on their first two drives. Their third drive lasted five plays, the fourth lasted six, and the fifth lasted four. Robert Griffin III totaled just 20 yards through the air in the second half, and the Redskins offense picked up 46 yards collectively.

As for the Ravens’ offense, the running game looked almost as poor as it did last season, but Flacco looked sharp, as always. On one of Bernard Pierce‘s first carries of the night, he suffered a head injury and left the game. He did not have a good day, carrying the ball four times for just -3 yards. Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro carried the ball four times for ten yards in the first half.

The running game looked almost as poor as it did last season, but Flacco looked sharp, as always.

As for Flacco, he was slinging the ball all over the field. He finished the day completing 16-of-23 passing attempts for 180 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown pass right before the half to the newly acquired Steve Smith that gave them a 10-3 lead at halftime.

Both Smiths, Torrey and Steve, had huge games, particularly Steve. He caught six passes for 80 yards and one score, and Torrey caught four passes for 41 yards.

Another note from the first half was that starting inside linebacker Daryl Smith recorded four tackles and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil got his first sack of the preseason.

On the very first play from scrimmage of the second half, rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley capped off RGIII‘s miserable night, intercepting his pass at the Redskins 26 and taking it back 17 yards to the nine yard-line. The Ravens would be held to a field goal and take a 13-3 lead.

Kirk Cousins came into the game for the Redskins second drive and looked far more impressive than Griffin did. On the very first drive of his night, he went 5-for-7 with 52 yards and capped off an 81-yard drive with a beautiful touchdown pass to Santana Moss over the middle, cutting the Ravens lead to three.

Cousins looked good on his next drive as well, as he got the Redskins down to the Ravens 27-yard line. However, Washington went for it on fourth-and-one and were denied as defensive tackle Brandon Williams came up the middle to make the stop for a loss of two, forcing a turnover on downs.

Tyrod Taylor used his legs on the next drive to march the Ravens down the field.

On the first play of the drive, he scrambled for 26 yards into Redskins territory. Four plays later, the Ravens found themselves in their own fourth-down situation, but unlike the Redskins, they converted thanks to a Taylor eight-yard run. Three plays later, Taylor threw his pass of the preseason thus far. On 3rd-and-3, Taylor let go of a beautiful 21-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Thompson to give the Ravens a 20-10 fourth quarter lead.

After forcing the Redskins to another three-and-out, Justin Tucker tacked on a 46-yard field goal with 10:04 remaining in the game to extend the Ravens lead to 13.

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, however, would not go away. They took advantage of two Ravens’ defensive pass interferences to cut the Ravens lead to 23-17 with 5:03 to go on a seven-yard pass to second-year receiver Nick Williams.

The Ravens would burn off the remaining 5:03 off the clock to seal a 23-17 victory as the Ravens improve to 3-0 in the 2014 NFL preseason.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Game Recap NFL Preseason

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