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Baltimore Ravens’ preseason win streak ends vs. Washington Commanders

Baltimore Ravens’ preseason win streak ends vs. Washington Commanders

LANDOVER, Md. — The least important winning streak in American professional sports has ended.

Washington Commanders kicker Joey Slye drilled a 49-yard field goal with nine seconds left to give his team a 29-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, which entered Monday’s game having won 24 straight preseason games dating back to 2016.

Washington came one yard from tying the game at 28 with four minutes remaining, but Ravens cornerback Kyu Kelly stonewalled Commanders fullback Alex Armah after he caught a pass in the flat from third-string quarterback Jake Fromm to thwart the Commanders’ two-point conversion.

It was a battle of first-round draft picks during the game’s first drive, with Ravens wideout Zay Flowers (22nd overall) and Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (16th overall), lining up across from one another. Flowers hauled in his first target for an 11-yard catch, then found plenty of open grass on a play action pass he took 26 yards to the house later in the drive for his first professional touchdown.

Commanders quarterback Sam Howell, named the starter Friday, went 19-for-25 with 188 yards and two touchdowns — both within the final two minutes of the first half. Washington coach Ron Rivera kept his offensive starters in for the game’s first 30 minutes, and not without risk; wide receiver Terry McLaurin grimaced while leaving the field with a toe injury.

Ravens tight end Travis Vokolek, an undrafted rookie from Nebraska, caught two touchdowns in the second half.

Baltimore assumed the record for most consecutive preseason victories since 2021, when they won their 20th consecutive game to supplant the 1959-1962 Green Bay Packers (under legendary coach Vince Lombardi) from having the most prolific stretch of preseason dominance.

Monday’s game carried an air of familiarity, as the teams held a pair of joint practices at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, Maryland, last week. The latter practice featured a pair of fights between Washington’s offensive line and the Ravens’ defensive front, and that bad blood carried over.

After a Washington touchdown, right guard Sam Cosmi broke out his “Griddy” celebration. Over the weekend, Cosmi — who had been involved in the practice dust-ups — downplayed the Ravens’ preseason record.

“I think it’s a stupid record. I mean, who gives a (expletive) about preseason games?” Cosmi told reporters. “If we beat it, great. We’re gonna beat it, so there we go.”

Talk about a (preseason) guarantee.

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