The losing streak that was considered the least significant in professional sports in the United States has come to an end.
Joey Slye, kicking for the Washington Commanders, kicked a field goal from 49 yards out with nine seconds remaining on the clock to give his side a 29-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, who came into Monday’s game having won 24 consecutive preseason games dating back to 2016.
Washington was only one yard away from tying the game at 28 with four minutes left to play, but the Commanders’ two-point conversion attempt was stopped by Ravens cornerback Kyu Kelly when he stonewalled Commander’s fullback Alex Armah after he grabbed a ball in the flat from third-string quarterback Jake Fromm.
Despite having quarterback Anthony Brown Jr. leading the way, the Ravens were unable to run out the clock and win the game. Washington was forced to face a 4th-and-11 situation on their own side of the field with 69 seconds left to play, but they were saved by a pass interference call that allowed them to keep moving forward with their drive.
Fromm stated that he wasn’t giving much thought to ending the Ravens’ winning run because he was preoccupied with determining the source of the pressure that was being applied by the opposition (the Ravens). However, John Harbaugh, the head coach of Baltimore, stated that those who believed the streak to be nothing more than a series of meaningless victories have it completely wrong.
“Because you never played,” Harbaugh answered. “I’ve never seen you play.” You never participated in any of the preseason games that we played. You were never in a position to compete for a slot. And then you have the audacity to argue that the work somebody puts in to battle and win a game like that has no importance. “
According to Harbaugh, there is not a single explanation for why the winning streak was so successful. This is a reflection of how the organisation conducts its practises, meetings, and development of new players, as well as how it scouts the college and professional game for depth pieces.
“In the end, it’s all about football and the men and women (now) who play the game,” said one commentator. It illustrates why this game is so fantastic and why it is so important, as Harbaugh put it. “Because it requires those kinds of efforts,” she explained. It is a game for bold people, as well as people who are willing to throw themselves around in difficult and unpleasant circumstances. The physical aspect. To compete in this manner and play the game at that level requires a certain amount of guts. The vast majority of those who enjoy football do it for the very same reason. They have a healthy respect for what it takes to compete.
During the first drive of the game, the Ravens wideout Zay Flowers (22nd overall) and the Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (16th overall) lined up across from each other. It was a clash of first-round draught picks. Flowers caught his first target for 11 yards, and then, later in the drive, he took advantage of lots of open space to score his first touchdown as a professional by taking a play action ball the last 26 yards to the end zone.
Sam Howell, who was given the starting quarterback job for the Commanders on Friday, completed 19 of 25 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the closing two minutes of the first half. It was a risky move on the part of Washington head coach Ron Rivera to keep his offensive players in for the first 30 minutes of the game. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin grimaced as he left the field because he had injured his toe.
“It’s really not a real game,” Howell explained, “but at the same time, whatever team you’re on, you want to win. “
Travis Vokolek, a tight end with the Ravens who came out of Nebraska and went undrafted, scored two touchdown passes in the second half of the game.
Baltimore has held the record for most consecutive preseason victories since 2021, when they won their 20th consecutive game to replace the Green Bay Packers (under famous coach Vince Lombardi) as having the most prolific streak of preseason domination. Since then, Baltimore has held the record for most consecutive preseason victories.
The teams had combined for a couple of practises at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, Maryland, the week prior to Monday’s game, so there was a sense of comfort and familiarity in the air. After the second practise, there were two fights between the offensive line for Washington and the defensive front for the Ravens, and the bad blood from those fights carried over into the subsequent practise.