Ravens starters struggle in second preseason game
Pre-season games often don't mean much. But sometimes things happen in them that can make just about everyone smile.
That was the case on Asa Jackson's 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Thursday night that gave the Ravens a 27-23 victory over the Falcons.
Jackson, facing another suspension at the start of the season, caught the punt, went to the right and took advantage of some nice blocking and raced easily up the sideline for the game-winning touchdown with 6:18 left in the game. The only problem was the flag thrown early in the run-- but the penalty was on the Falcons.
Coach John Harbaugh liked the effort of the whole team on that play.
"They’ve done a great job – I think Jerry [Rosburg] has done a great job of working on some fundamentals with the whole team. He has really worked those young guys fundamentally, in terms of blocking and tackling and stuff like that." Harbaugh said afterwards. "Special teams – the basics. And then, Asa [Jackson] just did a good job of hitting it. Asa can run. I don’t know if he gets enough credit for how fast he is. Obviously, he opened it up pretty good.Tommy Streeter had a nice block."
Both Harbaugh and Jackson said the 51-yard punt from Atlanta's Matt Bosher probably out-kicked the coverage a little, which helped out the return right from the start.
And Jackson and his friends did the rest on a play that gave the Ravens the win.
"The punt was just set up to the wide side of the field, and all the guys blocking, they did the work," Jackson said. "I did the easy part; I just had to catch the ball and get around the corner. They were the ones that set the blocks up and made the wall for me, and at that point I almost walked into the end zone. It was really all up front – those guys did a great job blocking for me.”