The Baltimore Ravens put up a perfect 4-0 preseason record a year ago, but they won’t get those bragging rights this year.
The Ravens finished the 2010 preseason with a 3-1 record after falling to the St. Louis Rams, 27-21, on September 2 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Few fans showed up for the two teams’ preseason finale, probably because they knew they wouldn’t miss anything important. All of Baltimore’s starters were benched for the game, giving the Rams first-string offense an easy time. Here’s how the game played out:
The Rams sealed the victory late
Ravens third-string quarterback Troy Smith’s desperate long pass was batted out of bounds by a Rams defender as the game clock expired, giving St. Louis the win. The Rams’ secondary played well most of the night, intercepting Smith twice. St. Louis also won the first half battle, taking a 17-7 lead into halftime.
Rams’ No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford was highly effective against Baltimore’s second-string defense, completing all six of his passes for 68 yards and a touchdown during the single offensive series in which he played.
Although Smith struggled in the air, tossing two interceptions, he also used his mobility to run for two touchdowns to keep Baltimore in the game. Smith, an African-American quarterback and former Heisman trophy winner, played the entire game.
More Game Notes:
The Ravens’ starters sat out the game as a precaution against injury, anticipating their Week 1 matchup with the New York Jets. Baltimore is a favorite to compete for a Super Bowl trip, so the team didn’t want to risk losing any key players to injury during preseason exhibition games.
But it was a different story for the young St. Louis team, who are in the midst of rebuilding. The Rams started most of their key players, and played them well into the second half to help them gain experience. The Rams’ starters performed well against the Ravens’ backups, enough to pull away with the victory.
The Ravens will open their 2010 regular season campaign on ABC’s Monday Night Football in a showdown against the New York Jets on Sept. 13. The matchup promises to be exciting, as both teams take pride in playing smash-mouth defense. Jets head coach Rex Ryan is the former defensive coordinator for the Ravens, so there’s a lot of familiarity between both teams’ coaches and players. Revisit afro.com for more coverage of the Baltimore Ravens.