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What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

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What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

The Ravens returned to M&T Bank Stadium for their second game on the 2018 NFL preseason schedule and gave us a lot of reasons to be excited.

Joe Flacco and his new core of receivers only needed one drive to show off, Lamar Jackson put his speed on display and Robert Griffin III gave Breshad Perriman a much-needed confidence boost.

Here's what we learned from their 33-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams. 

1. First teamers make it count

It took Joe Flacco and the first-team offense all of 4 minutes and 46 seconds to get themselves on the board. During the 10-play, 70-yard drive, Flacco connected with rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, Javorius Allen, John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and finally, Patrick Ricard for a six-yard touchdown. During the impressive drive, Flacco showed his own mobility by getting out of the pocket for a three-yard gain and a classic Flacco slide. 

Flacco connecting with three of his newest receivers is what we've been waiting to see all offseason. Even though it was just one preseason drive, it's a step in the right direction after the Ravens' 2017 offense ranked 29th in the league in passing. 

"Listen, our guys are really showing up," Flacco said at halftime. "We've had a great camp, and it was good to come out here and see it carry over into a game."

"I think once the regular season starts, this isn't going to mean anything," said Flacco postgame. "But what it does for our confidence as a group, our confidence as a team, that will carry us pretty far into the season."

2. A lot of room to grow for Lamar Jackson

Jackson followed up the Ravens' successful first drive with one of his own. The rookie hit Chris Moore for a 36-yard gain before putting his footwork on display faking out several Rams defenders en route to a 9-yard touchdown run. 

While he made improvements from his Hall of Fame Game appearance, Jackson showed he still has a lot to learn, finishing the night 7-18 for 119 yards. With two preseason games under his belt, Jackson received high praise from his head coach John Harbaugh and Flacco on which he carries himself. 

"He does seem poised for a rookie," coach John Harbaugh said. "Even on the sideline, he may not know everything ... but he comes off the field and knows exactly what he did. I think he's really going to continue to blossom for that reason. He handles situations very well."

Flacco followed up on Harbaugh's comments by calling his touchdown run "pretty impressive" and said it's been good getting to talk to him on the sideline and that "he's a confident young kid... [that's been] handling himself really well."


3. A much-needed confidence boost for Perriman

The Ravens showed their former first-round pick they still have faith in him after picking up his $649K roster bonus included in the final year of his rookie contract earlier this offseason.

During last week's Hall of Fame Game, Perriman dropped a pass from RGIII that turned into an interception. However, the duo redeemed themselves against the Rams when Griffin III threw a 32-yard bomb to the back left corner of the end zone to Perriman. 

A smiling Perriman could be found in the Ravens' locker room after the win saying the play was "definitely a confidence boost" and is just thankful to finally be healthy during the preseason for pretty much the first time in his career. 

He will have to continue to fight for his spot on the 53-man roster with the additions of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown. 

4. Williams continues to be a threat

The 2017 third-round pick followed up his strong performance at the Hall of Fame Game – where he had a total of 41 pass-rushing snaps resulting in six hurries, one QB hit and a pass rush productivity of 17.1 according to Pro Football Focus – with another stellar performance.

During Thursday's matchup, the edge rusher out of Alabama had multiple hurries and a strip sack in the third for the first sack of the preseason.

Williams was following in the footsteps of the Ravens' first-team defense who finished their opening drive with a sack from Matthew Judon on third down to force the punt and an interception in the second from Maurice Canady. 

Ravens vs. Rams Notes

— The competition at right tackle between James Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. is heating up. Brown Jr. played into the third quarter Thursday after getting in 60 snaps during the Hall of Fame Game. Quarterback Joe Flacco praised the third-round pick saying, "You can't ignore the fact that he's got the ability. He's just so big. He swallows people up. He has the natural ability to play that position and be a really good football player, so it's just exciting to see." 

— The Ravens got two W's last night when John Harbaugh quoted THE Michael Scott when asked about avoiding the injury bug during the preseason. Harbaugh said, "I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious." Classic. 

— While the preseason record does not matter whatsoever, the Ravens haven't lost a preseason game since Sept. 3, 2015. They now have ten days until they head to Indianapolis to face the Colts. 

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Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson lead TD drives as Ravens beat Rams 33-7

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Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson lead TD drives as Ravens beat Rams 33-7

BALTIMORE -- Joe Flacco needed only one series to show why there won't be any competition this summer to determine the Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback.

The other two guys, however, also put on quite a show.

Flacco threw a touchdown pass on his only series of the game, rookie Lamar Jackson ran for a score and Baltimore rolled to a 33-7 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

Baltimore (2-0) led 17-0 after the first period and cruised to the finish against the Rams (0-1), who rested offensive stars Jared Goff and Todd Gurley.

After sitting out the Hall of Fame Game last week, Flacco went 5 for 7 for 71 yards during a 10-play drive. The 11-year veteran overcame a second-and-25 with a 30-yard pass to newcomer Michael Crabtree and finished with a 6-yard TD throw to Patrick Ricard.

"That's really all we needed from Joe," coach John Harbaugh said. "Get Lamar out there with a lot of reps, get Robert (Griffin III) out there."

Jackson entered the next time Baltimore got the ball and coolly directed a 73-yard march in which he completed a 36-yard pass to Chris Moore and broke two tackles running for a 9-yard touchdown.

"It was a great run," Harbaugh said. "I thought he was tackled twice -- and then he wasn't."

Said Jackson: "They tried to get to me, I made a guy miss. Then I did what I do best and tried to get in the end zone."

Jackson went 7 for 18 for 119 yards, ran for 21 yards and was sacked twice before giving way to Griffin early in the third quarter.

Griffin went 5 for 7 for 88 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown strike to Breshad Perriman.

Flacco has been named Baltimore's starter in the regular season. Griffin is seeking a comeback after being inactive in 2017, and Jackson is trying to adjust to the pro game after winning a Heisman Trophy at Louisville and being drafted in the first round last April.

Jackson could learn a thing or two by watching Flacco.

"He was awesome. He was smooth, had a lot of poise in the pocket," the rookie said.

The Ravens and Rams held joint practices Monday and Tuesday, and Los Angeles coach Sean McVay indicated the work against outside opposition would enable him to rest a few of his starters in the preseason opener.

So, Sean Mannion opened at quarterback, Malcolm Brown lined up behind him and the offense sputtered for much of the night.

Los Angeles gained 5 yards and made one first down in the first quarter. The Rams trailed 23-0 at halftime after totaling 45 yards and three first downs.

"We expect to play better and we will," McVay said. "Sometimes these lessons, these humbling experiences if you will, for everybody is the level of awareness. You can't wait to get back to work and know that we got a lot work to do. What's encouraging is we have time to figure it out."

Mannion played the first half, going 3 for 13 for 16 yards and an interception.

"It certainly wasn't my best performance. Just wasn't really able to get into a rhythm early," Mannion said.

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Ravens vs. Rams preseason: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Ravens vs. Rams preseason: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After getting two very hot joint practices in, the Rams and Ravens will get to do the real thing Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium. This will be the first preseason game for the Rams and the second for the Ravens after beating the Bears 17-16 in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday. 

Thursday's matchup marks the fifth time the two have squared off in the preseason and the first time playing in Baltimore during the preseason. The Rams have gone 4-0 against the Ravens in those matchups, averaging 26.5 points per game in the last four preseason contests. Their most recent preseason matchup was in 2013 where the Rams went on to win 24-21. 

The Ravens will be treating their second preseason game much like their first. Joe Flacco could get a few reps in, but you can expect to see most of the action coming from quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III along with tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews. OLB Kamalei Correa proved his worth in the Hall of Fame Game after posting three sacks, two passes deflected, one interception and one forced fumble. The Ravens' coaching staff will likely be looking to see more of that as Correa currently sits third on the strong outside linebacker depth chart. 

The Rams are coming off an 11-5 season under Associated Press' Coach of the Year Sean McVay and there's certainly pressure to live up to that success. Don't get your hopes up, however, on seeing Los Angeles' stars like running back Todd Gurley II, quarterback Jared Goff or their newest acquisitions Brandin Cooks and Ndamukong Suh . All will likely be sitting out this one to give the rookies a shot at game action. Undrafted rookie cornerback, Ramon Richards, had a strong second joint practice on both defense and specials teams and will be someone to keep an eye on throughout the preseason as well as wide receiver Steven Mitchell. 

Ahead of their matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

Ravens vs. Rams Preseason Game:

Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams

What: Preseason Week 1

When: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

TV Channel: NBC, KCBS (Los Angeles)

Live Stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App

Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 and 98Rock

ESPN 710 AM, JACK FM and 93.1 FM (Los Angeles) 

Point Spread: Baltimore, -3

Over/Under: 36

Weather: 86 degrees, sunny

Preseason Schedule:

Hall of Fame Game: Thurs., 8/2 vs. Chicago Bears. 8:00 p.m. (W: 17-16) 

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. Los Angeles Rams, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 2: Mon., 8/20, at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football, ESPN), 8:00 p.m. 

Week 3: Sat., 8/25 at Miami Dolphins, 7:00 p.m.

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30 vs. Washington Redskins, 7:30 p.m.

Ravens 2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sun., 9/9 vs. Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: Thur., 9/13 @ Bengals, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: Sun., 9/23 vs. Broncos. 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: Sun., 9/30 @ Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

Week 5: Sun., 10/7 @ Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 6: Sun., 10/14 @ Titans, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sun., 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sun., 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: Sun., 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sun., 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sun., 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sun., 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sun., 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sun., 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Sat., 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD

Week 17: Sun., 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.

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