The Baltimore defense shut down the Carolina attack, and QB Joe Flacco played a virtually mistake free game as the Ravens built a 14-3 halftime lead before going on to beat the Panthers 17-13. The banged up Panthers scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable, but were never really in the game. The Ravens remained perfect on the NFL preseason at 3-0, while the Panthers remained winless at 0-3.
Both teams played their starters well into the third quarter, and the Ravens held a 17-3 lead when they left the game. Second year QB Joe Flacco looked sharp, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown on 23 of 28 passing. After the game, Flacco commented simply:
We were in a groove.
Tight end Todd Heap caught Flaccos scoring pass and added:
“Everybody was making plays, and I feel like we’re heading right where we want to be.
Both sides of the ball were clicking on all cylinders, which pleased the Ravens defensive leader Ray Lewis:
“That’s what’s most exciting, the way we are clicking both offensively and defensively. The bottom line is everyone is lining up and playing fast. We’re all playing well right now.
The Panthers played without their starting running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, both sidelined with injuries. QB Jake Delhomme had a decent game, throwing for 180 yards on 11 of 16 passing. After the contest, Delhomme gave a mixed assessment of his team’s performance:
“We did some decent things but still they’re a very good defense.
Linebacker Jon Beason got to watch the game from the sidelines while nursing a sore knee, and wasnt pleased with what he saw from the Panthers usually formidable defensive corps:
“Tackling was horrible tonight. I think we’ve got to do a better job in our man-to-man coverage.”
Improving the teams scoring defense is a top priority for Carolina this season. The Panthers allowed 30 or more points in five of their final seven games last year. For a franchise that has long prided itself on defensive tenacity, that simply is not acceptable.
Baltimore will wrap up its NFL preseason on the road as they face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Thursday. The Panthers will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in their final exhibition contest.
Ross Everett is a respected freelance writer who covers travel, casino gambling and Uk marriage visa sports handicapping. He is a staff handicapper for Anatta Sports where he is responsible for providing daily Uk marriage visa free sports picks. In his spare time he enjoys fine dining, flower arranging and scuba diving. He lives in Southern Nevada with four dogs and a pet coyote.
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