Ravens close preseason with sloppy 21-7 win over Atlanta

Ugh. Can we start the regular season yet?

The fourth preseason game is never all that smooth, as rookies and reserves get the vast majority of the playing time while the veterans watch in t-shirts and sweatpants from the bench.

But tonight's game between the Ravens and Falcons was ugly, even as preseason finales go.

The Ravens had just 101 passing yards, recorded a mere 10 first downs, and they combined with Atlanta for exactly one offensive touchdown all night.

The end result of the slopfest was a 21-7 Baltimore win, boosting the Ravens' preseason record to 3-1.

In a game which saw just one offensive starter - tight end Ed Dickson - suit up for the Ravens, little was accomplished in that facet.

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor had to leave the game late in the first quarter with a left shoulder contusion, leaving the QB duties to third-stringer Hunter Cantwell. The Ravens struggled to move the ball behind a porous offensive line all night, and punter Sam Koch seemed to spend more time on the field than the offense.

Cantwell, who has seen minimal playing time all camp, went 10-of-22 for 87 yards and an interception. Damien Berry was the Ravens' leading rusher with - count 'em - 31 yards, while Jalen Parmele finished the game as Baltimore's leading receiver with - count 'em - 25 yards through the air.

Defensively, rookie cornerback Chykie Brown provided one of the game's lone highlights, picking off a John Parker Wilson pass and returning it 65 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six game the Ravens a 10-7 lead late in the third quarter, and a Billy Cundiff field goal and a five-yard TD run from Berry, an undrafted rookie running back, put the finishing touches on the Ravens' win.

If tonight's action didn't exactly thrill you, take solace in the fact that the Ravens begin the regular season in just 10 days.

Instead of Hunter Cantwell matching up against the Falcons' third-string defense, you'll get Joe Flacco squaring off against James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and the Steelers. Thank goodness for that.

I'll have plenty more later tonight and tomorrow recapping this game and previewing the final roster cuts, which will take place Saturday.

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