The Baltimore Ravens took a loss in their final action of the 2012 NFL preseason, falling to the St. Louis Rams, 31-17, on Aug. 30 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.

The Ravens sat most of its significant starters the entire game against the Rams, including fifth-year starting quarterback Joe Flacco and fifth-year starting running back Ray Rice. Ravens’ veteran receiver Anquan Boldin and fellow starting receiver Torrey Smith were also sidelined for Game Four of the preseason as head coach John Harbaugh wanted to rest his best players to avoid injury as the regular season approaches. Baltimore’s defensive stars like 16-year vet linebacker Ray Lewis and 10-year vet safety Ed Reed, also took the meaningless game off.

The Rams, however, went with many of its starters, including third-year quarterback Sam Bradford, a former top draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Bradford had his way against Baltimore’s backups, completing 11-of-16 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Bradford tossed a touchdown pass to receivers Austin Pettis, Michael Hoomanawanui and Danny Amendola to give the Rams a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Rams’ star running back Steven Jackson ran just six times for 23 yards.

With Flacco sidelined, the Ravens started backup Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Taylor completed 8-of-12 passes for 58 yards but couldn’t connect with any of his receivers for a touchdown. Second-year receivers Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams started in place of Boldin and Smith, but Doss caught just three passes for 25 yards while Williams had one catch for five yards.

The Ravens finally found the end zone once Taylor was replaced with third-string quarterback Curtis Painter, who completed 19-of-31 passes for 193 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Painter hooked up with rookie receiver Deonte Thompson for six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Painter also found backup tight end Billy Bajema for a touchdown pass, and connected with backup receiver Logan Payne for five catches, 58 yards.
The Ravens will now prepare for their regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night Sept. 10 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor