Ryan Mallett Plays 'Winning Football,' But Wants to Be More Consistent

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Ryan Mallett's first preseason game mirrored his training camp in many ways.

Stepping in for injured Joe Flacco (back) Thursday night against the Washington Redskins, Mallett had some ups and downs. He didn't make any big mistakes, but left some throws on the field.

"I thought he played winning football," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He played good football, just what we asked him to do."

With the way the Ravens defense looks this season, the Ravens might not need Mallett to win games if he were needed to step in for Flacco during the regular season.

In the week leading up to Thursday night's preseason opener against the Washington Redskins, Mallett talked about how winning the game was the most important thing for him.

When Mallett's day was done at halftime, the Ravens led, 13-0, so mission accomplished.

As far as the stat line, Mallett completed nine of 18 passes for just 58 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown or an interception.

"We started off a little slow, got it going a little bit, got the run game going, got the pass going," Mallett said. "We need [to be] more consistent. It's the first preseason game, you've got a lot of new guys out there, but it's to be expected."

It's hard to fully evaluate Mallett's night because he was working with a primarily second-team offense around him. The offense had just four prospective starters on the field in running back Terrance West, tight end Nick Boyle, left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Ryan Jensen.

The team's top three wideouts – Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman (hamstring) – sat out, meaning Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore and undrafted rookies Tim White and Quincy Adeboyejo were Mallett's top targets.

Three starting offensive linemen – right guard Marshal Yanda, left guard Alex Lewis and right tackle Austin Howard – also didn't play. That left rookie Jermaine Eluemunor, Matt Skura and James Hurst starting on the offensive line, though they did a good job. 

On the Ravens' first drive, Mallett nearly hit Campanaro with a deep third-down pass down a seam, but the pass came up a tad short and Campanaro didn't haul it in as he went to the turf. Mallett tried to fire a couple more passes into tight coverage, but they fell incomplete.

He drew a key 23-yard pass interference with a later pass to Campanaro, which set up running back Terrance West's 18-yard rumble and 2-yard touchdown.

 Every year's a new football team in every organization, so that's what training camp is for," Mallett said. "In preseason, you get to know everybody and their strengths and weaknesses, and you just try to improve on them as you go along."

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