Rams Lose Preseason Opener in 33-7 Rout by Ravens - NBC Southern California
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Rams Lose Preseason Opener in 33-7 Rout by Ravens

Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass on his only series of the game, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for a score and the Baltimore Ravens rolled to a 33-7 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

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    Rams Lose Preseason Opener in 33-7 Rout by Ravens
    Patrick Smith/Getty Images
    Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes past Marqui Christian #41 of the Los Angeles Rams during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass on his only series of the game, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for a score and the Baltimore Ravens rolled to a 33-7 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

    Baltimore (2-0) led 17-0 after the first period and cruised to the finish against the Rams (0-1), who rested offensive stars Jared Goff and Todd Gurley.

    After sitting out the Hall of Fame Game last week, Flacco went 5 for 7 for 71 yards during a 10-play drive. The 11-year veteran overcame a second-and-25 with a 30-yard pass to newcomer Michael Crabtree and finished with a 6-yard TD throw to Patrick Ricard. 

    At that point, coach John Harbaugh had seen enough.

    "That's really all we needed from Joe," Harbaugh said.

    Flacco knew it was going to be a short night, so he decided to make the best of it.

    "Preseason games are always weird because you know you're not going to play a ton, but you have to get ready like it's a regular-season game," he said. "There can be pressure to go out there and do well."

    Jackson entered the next time Baltimore got the ball and coolly directed a 73-yard march in which he completed a 36-yard pass to Chris Moore and broke two tackles running for a 9-yard touchdown. 

    "It was a great run," Harbaugh said. "I thought he was tackled twice — and then he wasn't."

    Jackson went 7 for 18 for 119 yards, ran for 21 yards and was sacked twice before giving way to Robert Griffin III early in the third quarter.

    Flacco has been named Baltimore's starter in the regular season. Griffin is seeking a comeback after being inactive in 2017, and Jackson is trying to adjust to the pro game after winning a Heisman Trophy at Louisville and being drafted in the first round last April. 

    The Ravens and Rams held joint practices Monday and Tuesday, and Los Angeles coach Sean McVay indicated the work against outside opposition would enable him to rest a few of his starters in the preseason opener. 

    So, Sean Mannion opened at quarterback, Malcolm Brown lined up behind him and the offense sputtered for much of the night.

    Los Angeles gained 5 yards and made one first down in the first quarter. The Rams trailed 23-0 at halftime after totaling 45 yards and three first downs.

    "We expect to play better and we will," McVay said. "Sometimes these lessons, these humbling experiences if you will, for everybody is the level of awareness. You can't wait to get back to work and know that we got a lot work to do. What's encouraging is we have time to figure it out." 

    Mannion played the first half, going 3 for 13 for 16 yards and an interception.

    After the Rams scored in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen to KhaDarel Hodge, Griffin connected with Breshad Perriman for a 32-yard score. 

    NATIONAL ANTHEM

    Both teams stood during the national anthem. While most of the Ravens lined up shoulder to shoulder on the sideline, second-year linebacker Tim Williams stood alone in front of the bench with his back toward the field. 

    INJURIES

    It appeared as if both teams got out of the game without any significant injuries.

    HELMET RULE

    The Rams received successive 15-yard penalties in the first quarter for lowering the head to initiate contact, a new rule this season. Marqui Christian received the first flag, and Blake Countess followed. The penalties attributed for nearly half the yardage in a drive that produced a field goal for a 17-0 lead.

    UP NEXT: 

    Rams: After an extended stay on the East Coast, Los Angeles heads home to begin preparation for its next opponent, the Oakland Raiders at home on Aug. 18. 

    Ravens: Their next preseason game isn't until Aug. 20 at Indianapolis, but that begins a stretch of three games in 11 days.

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