The Baltimore Ravens hosted the Washington Redskins in Week 3 of the preseason on Saturday night. Regarded as the final dress rehearsal for starters, the third preseason game is typically a good indicator of how ready each team is for the start of the NFL regular season.
For Baltimore and Washington, both teams are looking to rebound from a porous 2013 season, as both clubs failed to make the playoffs after getting there in 2012.
For much of the first half of this game, neither team looked capable of making the playoffs. To be fair, heavy rains hit Baltimore prior to the start of the game. While the game was played with little rainfall, the field was still soaked, and that made for an ugly first half.
Through its first two drives, Baltimore gained just 22 yards on eight plays and allowed quarterback Joe Flacco to be hit multiple times, including a sack that ended a drive.
On the other side, Washington's offense looked sloppy as well, although the Ravens defense had a part to play in that. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III played for only the first half, and he completed just five of eight passes for 20 yards and threw one interception while being sacked three times.
Once the offense began clicking, the Ravens took control of the game. After their first two drives yielded little offense, they gained 188 yards of offense on their final 30 plays of the first half. There was little Washington seemed it could do to stop Baltimore's aerial assault.
Flacco picked apart Washington's secondary to the tune of 16-of-23 passing for 180 yards and one touchdown. He also led Baltimore on a drive that ended in a field goal to help Baltimore take a 10-3 lead into halftime.
From there, both teams began pulling their starters to let the backups finish the game, which Baltimore won, 23-17.