The Redskins’ back-and-forth quarterback rotation was over by the fourth quarter, when Kellen Clemens came in to mop up against the Ravens’ reserves. Rex Grossman finished 8 of 15 for 112 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions; John Beck was 6 of 10 for 108 yards with one score and one interception. Their ratings were close, Grossman at 99.9, Beck at 90.8.
After the Ravens pulled within 28-24 on a Billy Cundiff field goal, Clemens took over and found the going rough. The Redskins went nowhere on his first possession, and he was scrambling on his second possession – which came after rookie safety DeJon Gomes caused a fumble deep in Baltimore territory. After three plays on offense, though, the Redskins had lost two yards, and kicker Graham Gano came on for his first field goal attempt of the night.
Gano, whose job appeared in serious jeopardy in the offseason, nailed a 48-yarder that put the Redskins up 31-24. That made Gano 7 for 7 on field goals in the preseason. The Redskins never scored more than 30 points all of last season.
The Redskins’ defensive starters were also long gone by the fourth quarter, and Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor – a rookie out of Virginia Tech – had the chance to show he deserves to be Joe Flacco’s primary backup. Midway through the quarter, Taylor drove the Ravens deep into Washington territory, gaining 16 yards on a key scramble. Then, on third down and goal from the 2, Taylor dropped back to pass and was sacked by reserve defensive back Davonte Shannon. That forced Cundiff to kick a 34-yard field goal that pulled the Ravens within 31-27 with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left in regulation.
From there, the Redskins tried to run out the clock behind rookie back Roy Helu. But on third down from midfield, Clemens dropped back to pass, and Talmadge Jackson, a reserve cornerback for the Ravens, easily intercepted the ball with 3:35 remaining. He rumbled all the way to the Washington 14, setting up a chance for the Ravens to win the game.
On third and 6 from the Washington 10, Taylor looked for receiver Justin Harper, but his pass was high and hard and fell incomplete. The Ravens went for it on fourth down, and Taylor floated what looked to be a perfect pass to running back Anthony Allen in the end zone, just over the shoulder of Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson. But Allen couldn’t catch the ball, and the Redskins took over just before the two-minute warning.
Washington went three and out, and Sav Rocca followed with a 55-yard punt. But Baltimore returner LaQuan Williams broke free, and he wasn’t hauled down for 33 yards. Taylor immediately ripped off a 15-yard scramble, followed by consecutive completions to Harper and Brandon Jones. Jones, working against Washington cornerback Byron Westbrook, dove to the pylon, and though the official on the field ruled he was down at the 1 yard line, replay officials reversed the call with just 22 seconds left on the clock.
Instead of moving to 3-0 on the preseason, the Redskins suffered their first loss, 34-31.
John Beck took the field in the second half with the Redskins’ second-team offense, facing the Ravens’ second-team defense. And it couldn’t have started worse.
Beck bootlegged on the Redskins’ first offensive play of the third quarter and looked deep toward receiver Donte Stallworth. But the pass was too deep and was intercepted by the Ravens’ Lardarius Webb.
Beck rebounded nicely on the next drive, though, leading the Redskins 97 yards down the field. He hit Terrence Austin with a 13-yard touchdown pass, which gave the Redskins a 28-21 lead they took into the final quarter. Beck was 5-of-6 passing on the drive for 75 yards. Austin had three of those catches for 56 yards in another impressive outing.
The Ravens got on the scoreboard first in the third quarter, as Flacco opened the half by leading Baltimore on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin. The score tied the game at 21 apiece.
It also marked the end of the night for Flacco, who finished the game 17-of-27 passing for 219 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His final stat line was better than either of the Redskins’quarterbacks. Grossman was 8-of-15 passing for 112 yards with a touchdown, while Beck was 6-of-10 for 108 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The Ravens began the quarter downby two touchdowns, but on the move – particularly after Washington’s Lorenzo Alexander was called for running into the punter on the penultimate play of the first quarter, which sustained Baltimore’s drive.
Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco completed an 18-yard pass to Anquan Boldin on third and 7 to extend the drive further, and after Brian Orakpo sacked Flacco on second down, Flacco came up with his biggest throw of the game thus far. On third and 5 from the Washington 31, Flacco found Boldin inside the 5, throwing the ball just over the head of Orakpo, who had dropped in coverage. That 30-yard gain led to Ray Rice’s 3-yard touchdown run that cut the Redskins’ lead to 14-7.
John Beck served as the quarterback on the Redskins’ first possession of the quarter, and was immediately sacked by Ravens defensive end Cory Redding – a sack that was negated by a defensive holding call. Still, the Redskins went three-and-out, with Beck bouncing his third-down pass behind Santana Moss, an incompletion.
Baltimore scored on its next possession – again taking advantage of Redskins’ mistakes. Rookie outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was called for a neutral zone infraction – his second of the night – on third and 6, and on the ensuing third-down play, safety Reed Doughty was called for a holding penalty that extended the drive.
Flacco moved the Ravens downfield with a 33-yard completion to tight end Ed Dickson. On first down from the Washington 35, Flacco lofted a nice pass down the right sideline to Lee Evans, who had beaten cornerback DeAngelo Hall by a step. Though Hall disagreed with the call, the officials ruled otherwise, and Baltimore had tied the game 14-14 following a 96-yard drive.
Rex Grossman returned in relief of Beck on Washington’s next possession, but the Redskins could do no better than three-and-out. The drive ended when Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb blitzed and sacked Grossman on third down.
Grossman stayed in the game for the Redskins’ final possession of the half, and moved Washington inside the Baltimore 20. He nearly hit Moss for a touchdown pass, but the veteran receiver couldn’t hang onto the ball. Then, after a delay-of-game penalty moved the Redskins back to the 24, Grossman looked again to Moss – this time on the right side. Moss turned nicely over his back shoulder to haul in the pass, and with 51 seconds remaining, the Redskins took a 21-14 lead.
The Washington Redskins jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead thanks to a big play on defense and two big offensive plays.
First the defense:
One of the priorities Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett set for his unit in their game against the Baltimore Ravens was generating more turnovers. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall did that and one better.
After falling down on the third play of the game and allowing the Ravens to pick up a first down, Hall rebounded, intercepting a Joe Flacco pass intended for Anquan Boldin and took it back 53 yards for a touchdown.
The play gave Washington a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
The defensive score came after a three-and-out on Rex Grossman and the offense’s first stand. Grossman came back out for the second series, and Washington went 28 yards before having to punt again. Grossman was 2-for-6 for 27 yards, and then came John Beck and a quick scoring drive.
On his first snap, Beck completed a 33-yard pass up the right sideline to Anthony Armstrong. Beck had an incompletion on the next play – going for heavily covered Fred Davis in the end zone (missing an open Jabar Gaffney on the other side of the field). But on the very next play, Tim Hightower ripped off another big run. He burst through the hole going right, then cut back to his left in the open field and raced 37 yards for a touchdown.
Worst development of the first quarter: Rookie defensive end Jarvis Jenkins went down with an apparent knee injury on the second defensive stand of the game. Trainers appeared to check the Clemson product’s right knee before helping him off the field.