A look at results and key stats from Thursday night exhibition action.
Baltimore 44, Tampa Bay 16
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - LaQuan Williams scored a pair of touchdowns, one on offense and another on special teams, to help Baltimore to a 44-16 preseason rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Ravens' first action since last February's win in Super Bowl XLVII.
Williams hauled in a 21-yard strike from Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter and recovered a punt blocked by Brynden Trawick in the end zone late in the second that gave the Ravens a 24-13 halftime lead. Taylor also connected with Aaron Mellette on a 21-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and threw for 154 yards while completing 13- of-23 passes.
Bernard Pierce scored Baltimore's first touchdown of the night with a 20-yard run in the second period, which came after Williams recovered a fumbled punt by Chris Owusu. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco played the entire first quarter for Baltimore and hit on 7-of-9 attempts for 57 yards and an interception over two scoreless possessions.
Rookie Mike Glennon amassed 169 passing yards in his Buccaneers debut, but completed just 11-of-23 attempts and was intercepted once. Josh Freeman operated Tampa Bay's first two series and threw for 34 yards on 4-of-7 passing while leading the Bucs to a Derek Dimke field goal on one of the drives. Dimke kicked three field goals in all for Tampa Bay, while Kevin Ogletree had five receptions totaling 65 yards in
Cincinnati 34, Atlanta 10
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The first preseason game for the Bengals and Falcons proved to be a showcase for the backups, as Josh Johnson and Dane Sanzenbacher led Cincinnati to a 34-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
Neither first-team offense recorded a touchdown, though Atlanta's moved the ball somewhat more effectively. Matt Ryan, tasked with justifying a hefty contract extension after bringing the Falcons within a game of the Super Bowl last season, led Atlanta to a field goal on the game's opening drive and finished with 89 yards on 6-of-9 passing.
Steven Jackson, who ran for 1,000-plus yards in eight consecutive seasons with the Rams, carried the ball five times for eight yards in his first game in a Falcons uniform after leaving St. Louis via free agency.
The Bengals' projected starters also struggled, but they are still expected to be playoff contenders again after bowing out in the AFC Wild Card round the last two seasons. Andy Dalton completed 3-of-7 passes for 37 yards, while Johnson did a little bit
Cleveland 27, St. Louis 19
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Brandon Weeden went 10-for-13 with 112 yards and a touchdown as the Cleveland Browns took a 27-19 victory over the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both clubs.
Brian Hoyer also threw a touchdown pass as he went 10-for-14 with 100 yards for the Browns, who are coming off a 5-11 campaign as the team posted a losing season for the fifth straight year. Sam Bradford was 5-for-8 with 102 yards and a touchdown and Kellen Clemens also had a touchdown pass along with two interceptions on 6- of-13 passing for 116 yards for the Rams, who went 7-8-1 last season as the team finished under .500 for a sixth straight year.
Washington 22, Tennessee 21
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Pat White scrambled for a 9-yard score and then found Emmanuel Ogbuehi for the go-ahead two-point conversion, as the Washington Redskins rallied to a 22-21 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the preseason opener for both teams Thursday at LP Field.
Kirk Cousins got the start under center for the Redskins with superstar quarterback Robert Griffin III still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL he sustained in Washington's NFC wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Cousins completed 6-of-7 passes for 52 yards and a score, while backup Rex Grossman finished 10-for-21 for 119 yards and a touchdown.
White, Washington's third-string quarterback, went 5-for-8 for 31 yards while rushing five times for 33 yards and a score. Jake Locker, entering his third season, played most of the first half under center for the Titans, but finished just 7-for-11 for 58 yards. Third-stringer Rusty Smith completed 7-of-10 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Chris Johnson made the most of his two carries, taking one 58 yards for a touchdown. Shonn Greene, who signed a three-year deal with the Titans in the offseason, carried the ball
Denver 10, San Francisco 6
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Shaun Phillips' fumble return for a touchdown proved to be the difference as the Denver Broncos took a 10-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason opener for both clubs on Thursday.
Peyton Manning played just one series and went 2-for-4 for 13 yards while Brock Osweiler was 13-for-18 for 105 yards and Matt Prater kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter for the Broncos, who went 13-3 last season to win the AFC West, winning their final 11 games in the regular season before losing to Baltimore in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 32-yard field goal from Phil Dawson on the first drive of the game and finished his brief stint on the field 4-for-4 with 38 yards. Dawson later added a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for San Francisco, which lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl after going 11-4-1 in the regular season and winning the NFC West.
Seattle 31, San Diego 10
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Tarvaris Jackson tossed a pair of touchdown passes in relief of starter Russell Wilson, as the Seattle Seahawks earned a 31-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers Thursday in the preseason opener for both teams at Qualcomm Stadium.
Wilson emerged as Seattle's future during his rookie campaign last season, as the third-round pick led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and had his squad within a play of the NFC Championship Game before a last-second Matt Bryant field goal lifted the Atlanta Falcons to victory.
Wilson played just two series Thursday, going 2-for-6 for 23 yards while rushing twice for nine yards. Jackson, who started under center for the Seahawks back in 2011, finished 8-of-9 for 128 yards. Brady Quinn completed 6- of-11 passes for 59 yards and a score, while rookie running back Christine Michael rushed 16 times for 89 yards in the victory.
San Diego went 7-9 last season and missed the playoffs for a third straight season, prompting the firing of Norv Turner, who had manned the San Diego sideline since 2007. In his first game action under new head coach Mike McCoy, quarterback Philip Rivers went an efficient 5-of-6 for 45 yards in just one series of work.
Backup Charlie Whitehurst threw a pair of interceptions in relief, while rookie Brad Sorensen completed 7-of-10 passes for 84 yards and a score. Ladarius Green hauled in San Diego's lone touchdown of the game.