The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-17 in their preseason opener on Thursday night thanks in part to the second and third teams.
The Ravens first team defense came out flat in the opening series allowing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to expose the usually stout Ravens secondary. Baltimore played a lot of soft coverage and paid the price in allowing 155 yards to Matt Ryan on two drives, both of which resulted in touchdowns and a 14-0 lead. Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones torched cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb finishing the night with six receptions, 109 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense were just as flat. Flacco and company stalled on the Ravens first three possessions with Atlanta forcing three and outs. Behind a rocky offensive line Flacco and the Ravens did not have a first down until the second quarter and managed just nine total yards of offense. The veteran quarterback finished the night 9-of-12, 88 yards and one touchdown to tight end Ed Dickson in the second quarter. The chemistry between Flacco and second year wide receiver Torrey Smith is continuing to grow. Smith finished with 43 yards on three receptions.