BALTIMORE (AP) - Ryan Mallett struggled in place of injured quarterback Joe Flacco, throwing for only 58 yards while playing the entire first half, and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Washington Redskins 23-3 on Thursday night in a sloppy preseason opener.
The Ravens scored 13 points while Mallett was in the game, including a 2-yard touchdown run by Terrance West following two costly penalties by the Redskins: pass interference for 23 yards on a third-and-8 and an illegal formation on a field goal try that hit the left upright.
Flacco has yet to take a snap this summer because of a bad back. That left Mallett to run the first-team offense; he went 9 for 18 and was sacked once.
In his defense, Mallett was operating behind a makeshift line and without his top three receivers.
But he didn't give the Ravens any reason to lose interest in adding free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Redskins, similarly, had very little success moving the ball. Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins went three-and-out on his two possessions, completing 1 of 2 passes, and Washington managed only 47 yards on 27 plays while falling behind 13-0 at halftime.
Though Baltimore's offense sputtered, its upgraded defense proved to be as good as advertised. Free agent defensive backs Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr teamed with Jimmy Smith and Eric Weddle to seal the back end.
The biggest play of the first half was the last one: Justin Tucker kicked a 59-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead.
Redskins: First-round draft pick Jonathan Allen sacked Mallett in the second quarter while playing with the second-team defense. ... RB Samaje Perine fumbled and dropped a wide-open pass on consecutive plays in the second quarter. ... Seventh-round draft pick Joshua Holsey was called for a 23-yard pass interference penalty in the first quarter and broke up a long pass attempt by Mallett in the end zone in the second.
Ravens: Second-round draft pick Tyus Bowser had three tackles and a "quarterback hurry" in the first half. ... Rookie free agent Quincy Adeboyejo was targeted three times and had one catch for 10 yards.
Rookie running back Taquan "Smoke" Mizell out of Bayside High School in Virginia Beach may have been the busiest player on the field. He ran the ball 15 times for 51 yards as he is trying to make the Ravens roster.
"Preseason football is here," Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney tweeted. "Cue up the over-reactions."
© 2017 Associated Press