BALTIMORE – The Ravens provided some excitement in their preseason opener, scoring a touchdown with two seconds left to pull out a 30-27 victory over the Saints at M&T Bank Stadium. Here’s an instant analysis:
Ravens third-string quarterback Bryn Renner engineered the winning drive, an 80-yard march that started with 1:54 left, after the Saints had taken a 27-23 lead. Renner scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard rollout run, scrambling into the end zone with two seconds to play.
Impressive touchdown drives on their first two possessions sparked the Ravens to a 17-0 second-quarter lead. However, the Saints rallied with two second-quarter touchdowns, moving the ball well once the Ravens’ defensive starters departed. By the fourth quarter, the Saints had pulled even at 20-20, setting up the close finish.
After a quick start, the Ravens squandered a 17-point lead. The Ravens’ first-team offense looked very good. The Ravens’ second and third-team defense did not look very good.
There were several key moments on the Ravens’ game-winning drive. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams ran over a couple of Saints defenders after making a catch for a key first down, and backup wide receiver Tom Nelson drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone that set up Renner’s winning score.
Player of the game: Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco could not have been much sharper in his only series – 5 for 6 for 33 yard, leading the Ravens on a 16-play, 80-yard drive. This is exactly what the Ravens wanted from Flacco – solid work, and quick work. The process of Flacco adjusting to new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman appears to be going very smoothly.
“In the first preseason game, you always feel a few nerves,” Flacco said. “You really want to do well, because you’re not playing that many reps and you need to make the most of them. It was a great way for us to start off the game, to have a good, solid drive with everybody in there and feel good about it. Now, we need to get back to practice and continue what we have been building.”
Here’s the list of Ravens’ in-game injuries:
WR Kamar Aiken looked like he may have suffered a minor leg injury, but did not appear concerned after testing it on the sideline.
Rookie NT Carl Davis left the field slowly in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.
CB Asa Jackson – (knee) did not return, although further details were not immediately given.
OLB Steven Means – limped off the field with an apparent leg injury and was taken to locker room.
TE Allen Reisner - suffered a broken ankle and will undergo surgery.