NFL preseason: Ravens' Flacco leads Super Bowl champs in opener

2013-08-09T00:00:00Z NFL preseason: Ravens' Flacco leads Super Bowl champs in openerThe Associated Press The Associated Press
August 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

TAMPA, Fla. - Joe Flacco was sharp in his preseason debut, Bernard Pierce scored on a 20-yard run, and a revamped Baltimore defense forced four turnovers in the Ravens' 44-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw a pair of TD passes for the Super Bowl champions, including a 21-yarder to LaQuan Williams, who also scored when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

Flacco signed a $120.1 million contract this offseason after leading the Ravens to their second NFL title. He worked two series, completing seven of nine passes for 57 yards and one interception.

• Broncos 10, 49ers 6: In San Francisco, the Super Bowl runner-up 49ers committed three first-half turnovers, four in all, and missed a field goal in a sloppy loss to Denver.

Shaun Phillips scooped up D.J. Harper's second-quarter fumble and returned it 9 yards for the game's lone touchdown.

The star quarterbacks on each side - Broncos veteran Peyton Manning and third-year pro Colin Kaepernick - played one series each.

• Seahawks 31, Chargers 10: In San Diego, Tarvaris Jackson threw two touchdown passes, and Brady Quinn, also battling to be Russell Wilson's backup, threw for another score.

Wilson, who led the Seahawks to the playoffs last year as a rookie, played the first three series. He passed for 23 yards and ran for 9.

• Bengals 34, Falcons 10: In Atlanta, Giovani Bernard ran for a touchdown, and Josh Johnson directed two second-quarter touchdown drives.

Johnson, up against John Skelton for the backup job behind Andy Dalton, made big plays with his arm and legs. Johnson passed for 100 yards, including a 21-yard score to Brandon Tate, and ran for 64 yards.

• Redskins 22, Titans 21: In Nashville, Tenn., Kirk Cousins picked up where he left off last season filling in at quarterback, throwing for a touchdown as Washington edged Tennessee.

The Redskins sat eight starters, including Robert Griffin III, who warmed up and was on the field. Cousins looked sharp in Griffin's place, completing six of seven passes for 52 yards and a TD for a 137.2 passer rating in two series for the defending NFC East champs.

• Browns 27, Rams 19: In Cleveland, Brandon Weeden threw a touchdown pass and led Cleveland on two scoring drives, and Travis Benjamin returned a punt 91 yards for a TD.

Weeden finished 10 of 13 for 112 yards, which should help end any talk of a quarterback competition in Cleveland.

Extra points

• The Cardinals obtained defensive end Cordian Hagans off waivers from the Steelers and released cornerback Josh Hill. Arizona plays its preseason opener tonight at Green Bay.

• Quarterback Michael Vick will start for the Eagles in their preseason opener against New England tonight only because it's his turn to go first in the quarterback rotation. Former Arizona Wildcat Nick Foles also will take snaps with the starters, and the second-year pro will start the second preseason game.

Rookie Matt Barkley will come in after Vick and Foles in the second quarter and play through the third. Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne will play the fourth.

• Running back LeGarrette Blount will make his Patriots debut tonight when New England visits Philadelphia. He'll be playing against his former coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly.

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