Ravens wrap up preseason with loss

Ravens wrap up preseason with loss
August 29, 2013, 7:45 pm

Mellette leaves it all on the field to make Ravens

Final score: St. Louis 24, Baltimore 21

Game recap: Backups took center stage, as the Ravens rested every projected starter for the preseason finale against the Rams at the one-quarter-full Edward Jones Dome. Several backups, including running back Bernard Pierce, defensive lineman Marcus Spears and cornerback Jimmy Smith did not play.  Neither did backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, leaving the offense in the hands of Caleb Hanie. He finished 20-for-39 for 272 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

It was a predictably ragged affair, with six turnovers, including two on the first two drives of the game. Bobby Rainey scored two first-half touchdowns to give the Ravens a 14-10 halftime lead. The Rams took a 17-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Ravens answered with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Hanie to rookie receiver Marlon Brown. St. Louis then went back ahead on a 17-yard throw from Austin Davis to Chase Reynolds.

Key moment: Davis threw a pass in the left flat to Reynolds, and he broke several tackles and fought in for the go-ahead touchdown for the Rams with 2:40 left in the game.

Injury front: Linebacker D.J. Bryant suffered what appeared to be a serious left knee injury on the final play of the first half. He was taken from the field on a cart.

Ravens players of the game:

Offense: Bobby Rainey. Competing for a running back spot, Rainey had 13 carries for 39 yards and two touchdowns, both coming on strong second efforts. He also had one catch for 8 yards, two kickoff returns for 51 yards and two punt return for 27 yards.

Defense:Matt Elam. The first-round safety was physical in the time he played, with four tackles on defense and a good open-field stop on special teams. He also forced a fumble against Baltimore native and fellow first-round pick Tavon Austin.

Roster impact:  The wide receiver battle still seems too close to call. Tandon Doss was quiet early but ended up with five catches for 75 yards. Brown had four catches for 79 yards, including the 50-yard touchdown. Aaron Mellette made five catches for 70 yards. LaQuan Williams appeared only on special teams.

From the locker room: "That's a decision that you have to put on them (coaches). And if it doesn't work out here, there are 31 other teams that have seen the tape and hopefully I'll get a chance there." -- Rookie Aaron Mellette on the wide receiver competition.