Even when the games don’t count and the starters play little, if at all, the Baltimore Ravens hate to lose. Despite the Atlanta Falcons starting QB Matt Ryan playing only one series and with the Ravens third string signal caller John Beck playing the entire game it was apparent that Baltimore wanted the victory more. The former BYU standout threw for 232 yards and a pair of touchdown passes as the Ravens easily beat the Atlanta Falcons 20-3 at the Georgia Dome. The victory gave the Ravens an undefeated NFL preseason mark at 4-0, while the Falcons finished the exhibition campaign with a 2-2 record.
Sports enthusiasts who bet on NFL preseason action were rewarded for their investment in the Ravens, as Baltimore won outright as +3 road underdogs. Baltimore also finished the NFL preseason with a perfect 4-0 mark against the spread, while Atlanta finished 2-1-1 against the number.
Ravens QB Beck hasnt had much playing time in the NFL since his ill fated rookie year in Miami in 2007. After the game, he expressed how pleased he was to showcase his skills for the entire game:
“He (coach John Harbaugh) told me a few days ago that I would play the whole game. It was very exciting to get to play the whole game.”
Beck made the most of his opportunity, finishing with 232 yards on 16 of 28 passing and a pair of touchdowns. The Ravens defensive reserves did their part by holding the Falcons to just 175 yards of total offense.
Despite the lackluster effort, Falcons coach Mike Smith was nonplussed:
“You’ve got to understand in these games, you’re going to call things defensively and offensively to put players in certain situations to evaluate them. You’re not game-planning in a game like this. You’re going to put players in certain situations to see how they handle certain techniques and coverages.”
Falcon cornerback Chris Houston was a little more concerned:
“We’ve got to work on everybody getting to the ball. We’ve got to try to be more aggressive in our techniques. We made some plays tonight, but other than that, we still have a lot to work on as a defense.”
The Ravens will get the 2009 NFL regular season underway at home, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, September 13th. The Falcons, meanwhile, will welcome the Miami Dolphins to the Georgia Dome to get their campaign started.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and noted authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.