The Baltimore Ravens extended their preseason winning streak to 23 games by defeating the Washington Commanders 17-15 in the preseason finale Saturday.
The Commanders started rookie quarterback Sam Howell, and he played the entire game. Howell looked as if he might lead Washington to a come-from-behind win late in the fourth quarter. After a touchdown pass to running back Reggie Bonnafon, Washington’s defense held, giving the Commanders one more chance.
However, after one first down, Washington’s offense bogged down, and Baltimore escaped with a narrow two-point win.
Here is everything we know from the Commanders’ preseason finale.
Final score: Ravens 17, Commanders 15
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley looks for a receiver in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Washington Commanders. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Starters had the night off — mostly
Washington Football Team middle linebacker Jamin Davis (52). (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
Washington head coach Ron Rivera told the media last week his starters would play on a “very limited” basis. As it turns out, Rivera changed his tune and sat most of his starters. Only linebacker Jamin Davis and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste played among players expected to start.
Here is a complete list of those who didn’t play per Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
Trying this again … here are the 32 Washington players who will not play this evening in Baltimore. Mostly starters but some DNPs are injury-related. pic.twitter.com/pSY7dDhdr3
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 27, 2022
Davis was on the initial list but did end up playing.
No significant injuries reported
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera walks back to the sidelines during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The worst part of the preseason is the injuries. For the Washington Commanders, the good news coming out of the preseason finale is there were no significant injuries. That’s good news for the Commanders, who’ve battled multiple nagging injuries throughout training camp.
Sam Howell's night
Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14). Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
It was a good night for rookie quarterback Sam Howell. Sure, he played against several players who will not be on an NFL roster one week from now. That doesn’t mean Howell didn’t take advantage of his opportunities. Howell finished preseason in impressive fashion. As a passer, he flashes arm talent and accuracy, and his poise in the pocket is advanced. Howell was under pressure throughout the night and kept escaping pressure.
Howell almost led the Commanders to comeback wins in all three Washington preseason games. Almost doesn’t matter in real football. This isn’t real football, at least in terms of wins and losses—situations matter in the preseason. Howell led multiple two-minute drills in the preseason, and while the results were mixed, the experience was valuable for the young quarterback.
QB Sam Howell: 24/35, 280 yards, one touchdown; 8 rushes, 62 yards.
RB Jaret Patterson: 47 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards.
WR Dax Milne: 4 receptions, 37 yards.
S Jeremy Reaves: 5 tackles, including one for loss.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16). [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
Jki 121921 Jagstexans 21
Next up for the Commanders is the regular season. Washington hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. The 2022 Jaguars should be much better this season. New head coach Doug Pederson has helped quarterback Trevor Lawrence reset after the Urban Meyer debacle. Jacksonville loaded up in the NFL draft and free agency and will provide a difficult test for the Commanders in Week 1.