Every sports media outlet will be discussing the Baltimore Ravens slow start in this evening's pre-season opener at the Atlanta Falcons, but will end up discussing their complete domination of the second half to come out victorious in the meaningless final score, 31-17. After trailing 17-7 at halftime, they shut out the Falcons 24-0 in the game's final 30 minutes.
QB Joe Flacco and many of the other starters only played into the 2nd quarter and were unable to outscore the Falcons starters, but the Baltimore reserves totally outplayed their Atlanta counter-parts. Reserve QB Curtis Painter looked more like the guy he used to back up on the Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning) than he did himself, throwing for three touchdowns to help the cause.
Undrafted rookie running back Bobby Rainey was all over the field continuing to impress the coaches and fans with his versatility. Rainey carried the ball a team-high 12 times (36 yards), tied for the team lead with three receptions (36 yards) including a nifty 18-yard TD catch-and-run, returned one kickoff (26 yards and handled six punts (48 yards).
Rainey's 138 all-purpose yards easily led the team and obviously helpedhis chances of making the team's finalroster after going undrafted in April's NFL Draft despite finishing his collegiate career as the sixth-best all-purpose yardage player in NCAA history while at Western Kentucky University.
The Ravens did not escape the game unscathed, as DT Ryan McBean had to be carted off with a lower leg injury and RB Damien Berry appeared to injure his leg although not as severely as McBean's was.
While the score of the game was secondary to the play of the guys trying to both get in their reps as well as impressing the coaches, it was good to see the depth of this team being such that it can play a lot more solid than their opponents seem to do.