The Baltimore Ravens sat nearly the entire starting unit during the final preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 1 at the Georgia Dome. Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh didn’t want to risk a chance of any of his key players getting injured so he let the second- and third-string players fight off the Falcons for a 21-7 win.

Rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor started his first game as a Raven. The former Virginia Tech star has played solidly throughout the last few weeks, almost cementing himself as the official backup for starter Joe Flacco. Unfortunately, Taylor left in the first quarter with a contusion on his left shoulder, and was seen wearing his arm in sling during and after the game.

“We’ll see how serious it is tomorrow,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game. “But it doesn’t appear right now to be real serious.”

The Ravens finished the game with current third-string passer Hunter Cantwell, who completed 13 of 28 passes for 111 yards and an interception. Cantwell hasn’t played much this preseason, so naturally he struggled to gain a rhythm in the passing game.

Running back Jalen Parmelee led the team with only 25 receiving yards, all earned on one catch. Second-round draft pick Torrey Smith is still struggling to make a positive impression on the field; the wide receiver finished with just two catches for 12 yards. Baltimore didn’t run the ball effectively, either, as Damien Berry led all rushers with just 31 yards and a touchdown.

But the Ravens were able to make some big plays on defense, including an interception returned 65 yards for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Chykie Brown.

Fellow rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith led the team with five tackles.

Baltimore will now prepare for its home season opener against archrival Pittsburgh Steelers scheduled for Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor