Saturday, August 16, 2008
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
| ||AP Photo/Gail Burton|
| ||Baltimore Ravens quarterback Troy Smith throws a pass in the second quarter of the preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings Saturday in Baltimore.|
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings have reached halftime in Saturday's preseason contest and many of the starters are done for the game. The Vikings are leading 20-7.
Here were the first-half highlights:
- Quarterback Troy Smith tried to make his claim on the starting quarterback job in the first half. He did well in leading the Ravens to a touchdown on the opening drive. Smith made a couple of nice bootlegs (one run, one pass) to keep the chains moving that eventually led to Baltimore's only score thus far. But he also threw an interception before halftime and finished the first half 3 for 5 for 25 yards, an interception, and 35 yards rushing.
- Baltimore rookie tailback Ray Rice had his best game of the preseason with 71 yards on seven carries and a touchdown run. He longest gain was 42-yard run against a solid Vikings defense. The Ravens coaching staff has been impressed with Rice this summer and he's continuing to play well.
- In what may be the biggest news of the night, Vikings starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson injured his right knee in the first quarter. He was scrambling where he took a shot on his leg from safety Dawan Landry and linebacker Ray Lewis. Vikings PR said the severity of the injury remains unknown and they won't have a definitive update until after the game. He finished the night 7 for 11 for 82 yards and a touchdown.
- The Ravens' first-team defense, particularly the secondary, struggled mightily against Minnesota in the passing game. Baltimore was without starting safety Ed Reed and cornerback Chris McAlister, and the Vikings picked the Ravens apart through the air for two passing touchdowns to receivers Martin Nance and Robert Ferguson.