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Ravens, Patriots Go Down Against the NFC

It was a rough Thursday night for the AFC in their third preseason games as both teams lost, the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) and the New England Patriots (2-1).

In the Ravens game, the Carolina Panthers (2-1) won 34-27 and part of their victory came from four returns for touchdowns. Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. had a 74-yard punt return while the defense added three scores.

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

But the Ravens did get 27 points on the board and 10 came from quarterback Joe Flacco’s play in the third quarter. He got the team into field goal position with a 32-yarder by Justin Tuck, followed by a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marlon Brown, who is trying to make the team.

On the night, the undrafted rookie had four receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown.

Flacco was 18 for 24, 169 yards and one touchdown. Over the first three preseason games, he’s had two touchdown passes and three picks. He got off to a good start on Thursday, going 5 for 5, 45 yards, with a 69-yard drive that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Ray Rice.

Then the turnovers began.

Flacco said of the game via the Associated Press, “Tonight was one of those games that we did a lot of good things, but we had some miscommunication and turned the ball over too much.”

For the Panthers, quarterback Cam Newton went 10 for 19 and 99 yards. The team also saw backup wide receiver Kealoha Pilares go down in the first quarter with an injured knee. On Friday, he’ll have an MRI.

For their final preseason game, the Ravens will play the St. Louis Rams (0-2). The Ravens are a different team than the one from last year’s Super Bowl win. For their 2013 regular season win total, they’re at 8 1/2 (-120 o, -110 u) and they sit at -130 no to make the playoffs.

Lions Crush the Patriots 40-9 

On Thursday, the Patriots offense failed to show up against the Detroit Lions (2-1) as the home team’s defense challenged them. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady battled them for the first half but still was able to go 16 for 24 with 185 yards. He threw his first pick of the preseason; he was unable to get to the end zone and the team’s first points came on a field goal in the middle of the second quarter.

The Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was also stifled by the Lions’ defense; he went eight carries for eight yards.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

In the first half, the Patriots first-team offense incurred the interception, three punts, three lost fumbles, and one turnover on downs. Quarterback Ryan Mallett came in behind Brady and faced a 23-3 deficit at the start of the second half.

Third string quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t see any playing time and he appeared o.k. with it after last week’s horrible performance. He said after Thursday’s game via the Boston Globe, “I’m a blessed individual. Happy to be here, and whatever I’m asked to do, I’m going to do. You just prepare, and what you are asked to do, you do it 100 percent with everything you have. You want everything to go well, but it’s not. There are going to be ups and downs. That’s what life is, and you’ve just got to handle them as best as you possibly can.”

You can’t help but wonder if Tebow will even make the team at this point.

For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford went 12 for 25 with 166 yards. For the second week, his top wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, was out with a naggy bruised knee. Fortunately new running back Reggie Bush showed up and had five receptions for 103 yards.

The Patriots can’t be happy with Thursday’s performance. They do sit with an 11-game regular season win total (+130 o/-160 u) and -500 yes to make the playoffs.







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