The preseason is over (finally) and now the games count. How did the the Ravens and Titans do in week one?
Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
(Via AP) The Baltimore Ravens used a touchdown pass by Joe Flacco, two field goals and a throwback defensive performance to beat the Buffalo Bills 13-7 on Sunday in their season opener.
Against former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, now Buffalo’s head coach, the Ravens limited the Bills to 160 yards and sacked former teammate Tyrod Taylor twice.
That’s how Baltimore played defense under Ryan from 1999-2008, and that’s how it won the 2012 Super Bowl.
Returning from a knee injury that ended his season last November, Flacco went 23 for 34 for 258 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown pass to newcomer Mike Wallace in the second quarter that put the Ravens ahead for good.
That, plus field goals of 50 and 37 yards by Justin Tucker, was enough for Baltimore’s first season-opening victory since 2012.
Taylor used his quickness to avoid a ferocious pass rush, but he did not have much success passing downfield. He was 15 of 22 for only 111 yards and ran five times for 11 yards.
Baltimore took a 10-0 lead when Wallace got behind Stephon Gilmore, took a pass in stride and pulled away for the 66-yard touchdown. Signed as a free agent to enhance an offense that last year lacked a deep threat, Wallace hadn’t been part of a play that long since 2012 with Pittsburgh.
Buffalo used the elusiveness of Taylor in the pocket to close to 10-7 before halftime. After wriggling from the grasp of Albert McClellan and sidestepping Terrell Suggs, Taylor completed a 33-yard pass to Charles Clay, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy on fourth down.
The Bills missed a chance to pull even when Dan Carpenter was wide right on a 49-yard field goal try midway through the third quarter.
Notes from stats:
Wallace lead all receivers with 3 catches for 91 yeads and a TD.
West carries the ball 12 times (32 yards) and Forsett only got 10 carries (41 yards).
Shareece Wright (CB) lead the team with 11 tackles. C.J. Mosley (LB) only had one tackle.
Ravens have yet to lose in 2016 (4 preseason wins and 1 regular season win). They looked OK on Sunday and will take on the Browns in week 2 (this should be another win).
Tennessee Titans (0-1)
(Via AP) Eric Kendricks returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter and Danielle Hunter scored a 24-yard TD off a fumble return and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Tennessee Titans 25-16 in their season opener Sunday.
The Vikings wound up forcing three turnovers in the span of just under seven minutes and also had two sacks.
The defending NFC North champs needed the help from their defense in scoring 25 straight points after being shut out in the first half and Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s 2015 rushing leader, being smothered.
Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer did his best to hide his starter at quarterback after the Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater to a major knee injury Aug. 30, and after they traded their 2017 first-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Sam Bradford .
The mystery finally ended when Shaun Hill, 36, took the field for the Vikings’ first series for his first start since 2014 when he was with the St. Louis Rams.
Tennessee focused on stopping Peterson, who had 1,485 yards rushing last season, and the Titans did just that.
Peterson had 31 yards on 19 carries.
The Titans had a revamped roster from a new general manager for coach Mike Mularkey in his first game since having the interim tag removed in January.
They also opened at home for the first time since 2012 and jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead looking for a rare home win after going 1-7 in Nashville each of the past two seasons.
DeMarco Murray, the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, caught two TD passes from Marcus Mariota. He even hurdled a defender for a 6-yard TD catch just before halftime.
The Titans were driving trailing 12-10 when Mariota tried to force a quick throw under pressure to Harry Douglas only to be picked off by Kendricks who returned it for the TD with 1:24 left in the third quarter.
That turnover started a meltdown as Mariota then lost the ball after trying to hand off to Murray, which Hunter picked up for his own TD return. Then Murray lost a fumble on the next drive.
Notes from stats:
Mariota was 25 of 41 for 271 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT.
Murray lead all rushers with 13 carries for 42 yards.
Tajae Sharpe was targeted often in the passing game grabbing 7 catches for 76 yards.
Da’Norris Searcy (SS) lead the team with 8 tackles.
A very good first half from the Titans turned in the second half and the team just imploded. If it could go wrong, it did for the Titans in the second half. They have to limit the turnovers and get better on pass defense or it is going to be another long season. The Titans get the Lions in week 2. The Lions offense put up a lot of yards and points against the Colts in week one and this may not be a good matchup for the Titans.
We get two Monday night football games tonight. Have a great week.