PLEASE NOTE:The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Ravens vs. Redskins Game Highlights
Right Click for Full Screen Option
"After that, we bounced back well by the end of the first half and had a strong drive to begin the third quarter."
Flacco's night heavily involved his dynamic receiving duo – Boldin and free-agent acquisition Lee Evans.
In the second quarter, Flacco dropped a 35-yard rainbow into a bucket as Evans raced past his defender to cap a seven-play, 96-yard touchdown drive, tying the game at 14.
In the third, Flacco touched a 12-yard dart past two lines of Redskins defense to find Boldin in the end zone, knotting the score at 21.
"He put it right where you would want it," Evans said of his big catch. "I couldn't ask for it to be better. All I wanted to do was make a play on it."
Flacco, one of only three quarterbacks to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons in NFL history, made several other impressive throws throughout the contest.
On the Evans touchdown march, he moved the chains by putting a ball on tight end Ed Dickson's back shoulder for a 33-yard gain in traffic.
Flacco also set up the Ravens' first touchdown – a 3-yard scamper by running back Ray Rice – by marking Boldin for 30 yards in the middle of Washington's zone coverage.
After passionately standing up for himself to his many offseason critics in a training camp press conference, Flacco showed how good he can be with his on-field play, especially considering he was under duress several times.
With newly-signed offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie not suiting up, the Ravens started an offensive line that included rookie Jah Reid at right tackle, recent addition Mark LeVoir at right guard and former practice squadder Bryan Mattison at center.
The makeshift unit allowed three sacks and several other pressures, but Baltimore could have an entirely new group with McKinnie suiting up for the regular season and Matt Birk (knee) and Marshal Yanda (back) returning from injury.
Defensively, the Ravens were stung by the big-play bug.
Midway through the first quarter, former Raven John Beck lofted a 33-yard completion to Anthony Allen, who got free behind cornerback Domonique Foxworth.
Two plays later, Redskins running back Tim Hightower romped 37 yards through the defense to paydirt.
"There wasn't any miscommunication there," said defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. "It was just more of the D-line getting cut down. Really, we've got to stay on our feet.
"But, I think we did better as the game went on. Hopefully, we can get rid of those mistakes and keep our progression going."
Once the starters came out halfway through the third quarter, the Redskins put together a 97-yard touchdown drive, and both teams then traded pairs of field goals.
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor continued his solid preseason play, helming three scoring drives in the fourth quarter, including a 10-play, 65-yard march that resulted in a Billy Cundiff field goal.
Taylor made a bid to be Flacco's No. 2 by amassing 120 yards by completing 11 of 18 passes, the biggest of which might have been a 9-yarder to receiver Brandon Jones for a game-winning score.
But this matchup was about the first teams, as it was the most-extensive dress rehearsal the units got all preseason.
Winning is always the goal, but the fact that the Ravens' starters fought back and their backups competed until the end was most important.
With the first roster cut from 90 to 80 players scheduled for next Tuesday and a Sept. 11 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers looming, the Ravens got a good idea of where they stand as a team.
"These next two weeks, we have some work to do," said linebacker Terrell Suggs. "It's not a lot of work, but we definitely have some things we have to address. We have some young guys, but once they get up to speed, I think we'll be alright."