08/28 22:27 CDT Tucker lifts Ravens over Saints 22-13
Tucker lifts Ravens over Saints 22-13
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) --- Kicker Justin Tucker was among the few Ravens regulars who
did not get the night off for the final exhibition game.
His performance was also one of the reasons the Ravens finished the preseason
with a perfect record.
Tucker hit five field goals of distances ranging from 24 to 45 yards, and the
Ravens beat the New Orleans Saints 22-13 on Thursday night.
Baltimore (4-0) found the end zone only once on Tyrod Taylor's 8-yard pass to
Deonte Thompson, but that was enough against the Saints (3-1), who struggled to
score while quarterback Drew Brees got the night off.
Brees' backup, Luke McCown, completed all four of his passes, including a short
touchdown toss to Travaris Cadet on his only series. But New Orleans managed
only two more field goals by Derek Dimke after Ryan Griffin relieved McCown in
the first quarter.
Both clubs gave many starters the night off. Taylor started for the Ravens,
completing 10 of 17 passes for 105 yards, a TD and an interception.
The Saints decision to rest Brees, who had strained a left oblique muscle early
in camp, means he'll head into the regular season having played a total of
three offensive series in the preseason. He played only the first quarter of
last week's game at Indianapolis, leading two touchdown drives.
The Saints did play 36-year-old, 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.
Because of a foot injury, he'd made his preseason debut only a week earlier,
and what role he'll play during the regular season remains unclear. He played
only the first quarter against Baltimore, giving up a 7-yard completion.
Quarterback Joe Flacco did not take a snap. Running back Ray Rice also did not
Taylor played the entire first half, leading four scoring drives, and Baltimore
led 16-13 at halftime.
Keith Wenning took over under center in the second half, going 8 of 13 for 117
yards. The Ravens gained 214 yards on the ground, with Fitzgerald Toussaint
rushing for 103 yards and Lorenzo Taliaferro 88. Baltimore outgained New
Orleans in total yards 436-190.
McCown passed for 29 yards on his lone drive, which was helped by two personal
fouls on Baltimore.
Griffin, a second-year pro out of Tulane trying to wrest the backup job from
the veteran McCown, played the rest of the way, going 11 for 21 for 126 yards.
He was not intercepted and was sacked once.
The Saints, founded in 1967, have never made it through a preseason without a
loss. However, they did go 3-1 in the 2009 season, the same season they won
their only Super Bowl.
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