NFL recaps: Ravens starters struggle in victory
Matt Ryan threw for 97 yards and a touchdown in four series, and the Atlanta Falcons limited the Baltimore’s starting offense to three first downs in the first half before the Ravens’ backups pulled out a 27-23 preseason victory Thursday night in Baltimore.
Atlanta’s starters bounced back nicely from a 34-10 loss to Cincinnati one week earlier. Under Ryan’s direction, the Falcons pierced Baltimore for 11 first downs in 161/2 minutes and built a 20-7 lead at halftime.
It was 23-7 before Baltimore scored 20 fourth-quarter points, including a 78-yard punt return by Asa Jackson with 6:18 remaining.
Ryan went 8 for 15 and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. Steven Jackson had 42 yards rushing against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco played the first half, completing 7 of 9 passes for 118 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
Bears 33, Chargers 28: Jay Cutler looked shaky again and the defense made up for it, harassing Philip Rivers early on and setting the tone for Chicago in a victory over San Diego in Chicago.
All eyes remain on the quarterback after the Bears made some big changes on offense in the offseason, hiring coach Marc Trestman to replace Lovie Smith and revising their line.
So far, the results are mixed at best.
Cutler played a quarter and completed 4 of 5 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown, but the only receiver he targeted was Brandon Marshall.
Browns 24, Lions 6: Brandon Weeden threw two touchdown passes to Jordan Cameron and perhaps ended any more discussion about a quarterback competition in Cleveland, leading the Browns to a win over visiting Detroit.
Weeden finished 8 of 12 for 117 yards. In two weeks, he’s 18 of 25 for 229 yards and three TDs.
Quarterback Matt Stafford completed 11 of 16 for 74 yards for the Lions.
Eagles 14, Panthers 9: Michael Vick was nearly flawless, Nick Foles looked sharp and Philadelphia’s quarterback competition remains close after a win over Carolina in Philadelphia.
Vick and Foles each led the Eagles to touchdown drives in the victory.
Vick and Foles have combined to put up 28 points on eight-plus drives in two games.