Dobbins hurt as Ravens’ preseason win streak hits 20 games
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — J.K. Dobbins left with a knee injury, Lamar Jackson made his 2021 preseason debut and the Tyler Huntley-led Baltimore Ravens routed Washington 37-3 Saturday to win their NFL-best 20th consecutive exhibition game.
Dobbins going down early with a left knee injury is the biggest lingering effect for Baltimore with the regular season on the horizon. After catching a screen pass from Jackson, the second-year running back went down awkwardly midway through the first quarter on his third touch of the game. He was attended to on the field before being carted off the sideline and ruled out.
Jackson played only one series after sitting out Baltimore’s first two preseason games. The 2019 MVP was 3 of 4 for 29 yards and was sacked twice on a drive that ended with a missed field goal.
While the Ravens awaited word on Dobbins, who was again expected to split carries with Gus Edwards in a run-heavy offense, Huntley tore through Washington’s reserves by going 24 of 33 with four touchdown passes and a rushing score. Huntley is the second-string quarterback behind Jackson for now with Trace McSorley unavailable because of back problems.
Huntley’s 285 passing yards and TD throws to Eric Tomlinson, Binjimen Victor, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace helped Baltimore pass Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers for the longest preseason winning streak. Green Bay’s streak ended with a loss in 1963 to a team of college all-stars and totaled 23 games through that year if only counting NFL opponents — a mark the Ravens would need to go undefeated in the 2022 preseason to match.
BILLS 19, PACKERS 0
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen completed his first nine attempts and finished 20 of 26 for 194 yards and two touchdowns in leading Buffalo over Green Bay in both teams’ preseason finales.
Allen capped Buffalo’s opening drive with a perfect throw in hitting Gabriel Davis in stride — a step ahead of cornerback Isaac Yiadom — on a post route for a 31-yard touchdown on third-and-20. Allen then squeezed a tight 3-yard pass over the middle to Zack Moss to put the Bills up 13-0 on his third and final possession.
The fourth-year starter showed off his familiar dual-threat ability by making his best throw three plays before Moss’ touchdown. Scrambling to his left, Allen threw a pass across his body to a wide-open Cole Beasley for a 21-yard gain.
Buffalo finished 3-0, extending its preseason winning streak to eight games, going back to a 26-13 loss to Cincinnati on Aug. 26, 2018. The Packers finished 0-3, closing a preseason in which a majority of their starters didn’t play. Aaron Rodgers, the NFL’s reigning MVP, sat out the entire preseason and was one of 31 players the Packers rested against Buffalo.
Jordan Love, Rodgers’ heir apparent, played into the third quarter and finished 12 of 18 for 149 yards and an interception. He was returning after missing last weekend with an injury to his throwing shoulder.
BEARS 27, TITANS 24
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nick Foles threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jesper Horsted with 6:51 left. Horsted, a tight end who played at Princeton, finished with three TDs and 104 yards receiving, catching all five passes thrown to him.
His first TD came from rookie Justin Fields in his first start, with the other two from Foles in the second half.
The 11th overall draft pick, Fields had veteran Jason Peters at left tackle with the other starters on the offensive line in front of him. With help from back-to-back defensive penalties, he hit Horsted in the end zone for a 20-yard TD pass in the final minute for a 14-10 halftime lead for the Bears.
Fields finished 7 of 10 for 54 yards.
Tennessee had a couple of late chances to tie or win. The Titans turned it over on downs with 1:32 left, and the game ended with them stuck inside their 20 after a run play.
The Titans played with coach Mike Vrabel watching from home, quarantined since testing positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 22. He had company, with wide receivers coach Rob Moore and offensive line assistant Jason Houghtaling among 10 Titans not at this game because of NFL protocols.
BUCCANEERS 23, TEXANS 16
HOUSTON (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 154 yards and a touchdown in just more than a quarter and Tampa Bay got a win over Houston.
It was by far his most extensive work this preseason after the seven-time Super Bowl champion played just six snaps in a loss to Cincinnati two weeks ago and sat out last week against in a loss to Tennessee.
Brady got off to a slow start, throwing two incompletions on his first drive before a punt by Tampa Bay. He got going on the next possession when he completed seven consecutive passes, capped by a 24-yard touchdown throw to Chris Godwin. The extra point was blocked to put the Buccaneers up 6-0.
He stuck with Godwin to start the next drive, connecting on a 32-yard pass on the last play of the first quarter. Tampa Bay extended the lead to 13-0 on a 13-yard run by Ronald Jones II and Brady was replaced by Blaine Gabbert after that.
Tyrod Taylor failed to move the offense effectively for Houston in three drives, going 6 of 9 for 31 yards. He’s expected to be Houston’s starter this season with star Deshaun Watson’s future with the team in question after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them.
Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, leaving Watson’s future with the team uncertain. Even before all that Watson requested a trade earlier this year. Watson was not seen on the sideline Saturday.
BRONCOS 17, RAMS 12
DENVER (AP) — A trio of Broncos returning from injuries celebrated their 2021 debuts in Denver’s win over the Los Angeles Rams’ reserves in the preseason finale.
Courtland Sutton caught an 8-yard touchdown pass, Von Miller made three tackles and Albert Okwuegbunam had three receptions.
All three were hurt last year, with Miller missing the entire season with an ankle injury and Sutton and Okwuegbunam tearing their right ACLs, limiting them to one and four games, respectively.
The Broncos won all three of their preseason games while playing starters for much of the first halves, and the Rams went 0-3 playing their backups.
Teddy Bridgewater, who edged incumbent Drew Lock in the Broncos’ summer quarterback clash, started out with four incompletions, all of them off his receivers’ hands, before hitting six of his next seven, including an 8-yard touchdown strike to a sliding Sutton.
SEAHAWKS 27, CHARGERS 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Marquise Blair returned a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown and Alex Collins made a strong bid to be included in Seattle’s running back rotation in a rout of the Chargers in the final preseason game for both teams.
Both teams played primarily their backups, but it was Seattle’s groups of reserves that made the stronger statement.
Blair snatched the fumble out of midair after Cody Barton sacked Chargers quarterback Chase Daniel and walked into the end zone on the opening possession for Seattle’s first touchdown of the preseason.
Collins added a 5-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter, finishing with 37 yards on 10 carries and seven receptions for 52 yards.
Sean Mannion added a 2-yard touchdown pass to Darece Roberson Jr. in the fourth quarter for Seattle. Mannion went 13 of 15 passing and seems a likely practice squad addition for Seattle.
Daniel played just the first half, going 9 of 12 for 70 yards and was sacked twice. Easton Stick played sparingly in the first half but took all the snaps in the second half. He was 10 of 17 for 76 yards and was sacked three times.
It was a largely uninspired effort from the Chargers on the offensive side. Los Angeles crossed midfield just two times and backup kicker Tristan Vizcaino missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.
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