Seven months after walking off the field in Pittsburgh, losers of the AFC Championship game, the Baltimore Ravens took to the field Thursday night ready to begin a new season which they hope leads to Miami.
If a preseason game can count as an indicator, the Ravens looked the part. Joe Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck led a Ravens offense, which quietly gained 500 total yards. While Greg Mattison’s defense preserved the shut out as the Ravens beat the Redskins 23-0 at M&T Bank Stadium.
While many were hoping to see Joe Flacco take the next step, even if it were only in a preseason game, Troy Smith was outstanding. Smith completed 14/30 passes for 200 yards, including a 19 yard touchdown pass to Justin Harper.
The Ravens defense showed no ill effects from switching from the blitz crazy Rex Ryan, to the more base oriented defense of Greg Mattison. They forced two turnovers, including a Derek Martin interception and a Dwan Edwards fumble recovery.
Even though it was the first preseason game, all 80 Ravens players were able to do what led to success during last years playoff run, physically dominate their opponent. On Thursday night the Redskins were dominated, and the Ravens are off and running.