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Ravens Throttle Jaguars in 29-0 Preseason Opener Win

August 09, 2019 - 12:33 am
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By Joe Schiller

When it comes to the preseason, the Ravens might be the most dominant team of them all. 

Lamar Jackson and the first-team offense led the Ravens on two scoring drives on their first three possessions and Don 'Wink' Martindale's defensive unit throttled rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars' offense in a 29-0 shutout win.

We weren't sure how much Jackson would see the field tonight, but the second-year quarterback finished 4-of-6 for 59 yards and one touchdown. Jackson looked poised in the pocket and led the Ravens on a six-play, 57-yard drive late in the first quarter. He fired a dart to Willie Snead IV for a 10-yard touchdown pass to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead. 

Justin Tucker added a 52-yard field goal in limited action, but backup kicker Kaare Vedvik finished 4-for-4 on the night, including a 55-yard field goal early in the second quarter. With Tucker the established placekicker in Baltimore, Vedvik likely drew the attention of kicker-needy teams, who could trade a draft pick for a promising kicking talent. 

The Ravens took a 16-0 lead into halftime and dominated the Jaguars defensively the entire night. Starter Nick Foles didn't see the field, but rookie Garnder Minshew got a taste of the NFL's top overall ranked defense from 2018. Second-year linebacker Kenny Young clobbered Minshew on a fumbled snap in the second quarter and sent his helmet flying. 

Young led the Ravens with six total tackles and one tackle for a loss on the night. 

Cyrus Jones and Bennett Jackson tallied interceptions as they look to make their case for the 53-man roster among a crowded secondary. Fullback/Defensive Tackle Patrick Ricard shined on the defensive end, totaling four tackles and two sacks. 

Offensively, rookie Trace McSorley saw most of the snaps under center. It was an up-and-down performance as he fired a poor interception late in the second quarter, but McSorley had his moments. Given his athleticism, it's clear why the Ravens gambled a sixth-round pick on him. McSorley clearly fits Greg Roman's offensive system behind Jackson and provides key depth while Robert Griffin III recovers from a fractured thumb. 

Rookie wide receiver Miles Boykin was targeted nine times and finished with four catches for 34 yards. He hauled in a long touchdown pass from McSorley that was negated from a holding penalty, but it was encouraging to see Boykin bounce back to have a strong night following some early drops. If he can continue to come into his own, he could be a significant part of the passing game this season. 

It wasn't pretty, but the Ravens avoided any major injuries and came away with their 14th straight preseason win.

Up next is a Thursday Night matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, August 15th.