NFL Notebook

Ravens QB Outcome Still Murky

Associated Press
Monday, August 18, 2008

Every time Troy Smith or Kyle Boller gets the opportunity to move ahead in the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback competition, he takes one step back.

Neither player has distinguished himself after two games, and things got particularly ugly Saturday night in a 23-15 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Given the chance to start, Smith went 3 of 5 for 25 yards and an interception -- a dismal 33.3 quarterback rating.

Entering in the second half, Boller completed eight of 12 passes for a paltry 40 yards and threw an interception. He has three turnovers in two games.

"I think they had some good moments and some not so good moments," Coach John Harbaugh said.

Rookie Joe Flacco went 10 of 15 for 74 yards. It was a vast improvement over his 0-for-3, one-fumble performance against New England.

LIONS 27, BENGALS 10: Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson strained his left shoulder last night during Cincinnati's home loss.

Johnson landed awkwardly on his left side after cornerback Brian Kelly intercepted a pass thrown his way on Cincinnati's first series. Johnson rolled on the field in pain for several seconds, then went to the locker room for an examination. He did not return.

Coach Marvin Lewis said the shoulder popped out and back into place on the field. Medical tests found no fracture.

Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the second straight game.

BUCCANEERS 27, PATRIOTS 10: Without Tom Brady, who sat out for the second straight week, New England sputtered behind backup Matt Cassel in a loss at Tampa Bay.

Brady reportedly remained home to rest a sore foot, and Cassel had limited success against a feisty Bucs defense that scored on his third-quarter fumble and intercepted the first pass thrown by successor, Kevin O'Connell.

Bucs starting quarterback Jeff Garcia also has yet to play this preseason. His absence is creating opportunities for Brian Griese, Luke McCown and Chris Simms to build their cases for being No. 2.

Randy Moss made his preseason debut and caught two passes for 25 yards.

STEELERS: Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu could return to practice tomorrow.

RAMS: Guard Mark Setterstrom fractured his left kneecap in Saturday's preseason game and will be placed on injured reserve.

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