BALTIMORE– The Ravens kept their momentum going on Saturday night when they picked up a 13-9 win against the Buffalo Bills.
As usual, the defense was on point, holding the visiting Bills to just a touchdown. The offense continued to struggle. The absence of Joe Flacco has left the ball in unreliable hands these past three weeks and the results have been disappointing. While there have been moments where the offense has shined, a lot of their scoring can be attributed to the defense and the excellent field position they generate.
This was on full display once again in Saturday’s win over Buffalo. Since it was week three of the preseason, the starting defense was given some extra opportunities to fuel the hype surrounding them. On four drives, the starting defense stopped the Bills from gaining any traction. Buffalo was held to under 50 total yards in this time and looked completely stumped by the Ravens defensive line.
LeSean McCoy was wrapped up quickly on every one of his carries and finished the game with just seven yards. The passing game didn’t fare any better as Tyrod Taylor had trouble getting the ball over the line of scrimmage. The defensive line gave Bills’ quarterbacks headaches all night by deflecting six passes.
The biggest plays of the night on defense were definitely the two turnovers which helped secure the win. The first took place in the third quarter with the Bills looking to build a potential comeback. T.J Yates rolled outside for a play-action pass but Jaylen Hill was all over it, picking up his second interception of the preseason to set up the Ravens in the red zone. The offense used this excellent field position to regain the lead as Josh Woodrum connected with Taquan Mizzell for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The second turnover proved more timely as it put an end to what was shaping up to be a game-winning drive by the Bills. As Buffalo moved their way into the red zone, Patrick Onwuasor swarmed to the ball and not only forced the game-winning fumble, but recovered it too. The big play put the ball back in the hands of the offense with about a minute to play.
The Bills regained some traction by forcing a safety and then getting the ball back with enough time for some deep passes and a shot at the end zone. The Ravens defence stood their ground and prevented the Bills from making any progress as time expired.
As far as the offense goes, Ryan Mallet was lack luster in his third start of the preseason. The 29-year-old quarterback completed 6/10 passes for 58 yards before being replaced by Woodrum. The Ravens’ third-string quarterback did not shine like he did last week, but he helped put together the teams only touchdown drive of the game while keeping the ball out of the hands of the Bills defense.
Just like last week, the Ravens continued to struggle with penalties. At the end of the second quarter, the yellow flags were flying on what seemed like every single play. The excessive amount of penalties allowed the Bills to keep their drive alive and eventually put a touchdown on the board just before the half. The Ravens ended up committing 13 penalties in Saturday’s game, totaling 136 yards.
Baltimore will have a quick turnaround this week as they prepare to play their last preseason game on Thursday. The Ravens will travel!down to New Orleans to take on the Saints in a stadium they have very fond memories of. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome was the setting of the Ravens 2012-13 Super Bowl victory.
Image Credit: Buffalo Bills