Posted August 18, 2012 on
AP on Fox
After a lackluster start to the preseason, the Detroit Lions appear to have gotten their offense in working order.
The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, still apparently have plenty of work to do on their defense.
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in four possessions and Calvin Johnson had five catches for 111 yards to help the Lions cruise to a 27-12 preseason victory on Friday night.
Stafford went 12 for 17 for 184 yards. He failed to produce a score in three drives last week against Cleveland, then came up empty in his first two series against Baltimore before guiding touchdown drives of 93 and 70 yards.
''We got into a little bit of a rhythm,'' Stafford said. ''When we kind of figured out what they were doing, we went out and executed.''
Johnson did most of the damage. During the 93-yard drive, he had three catches for 83 yards, a stark contrast to his performance against Cleveland (two catches, 36 yards).
''When we get it going, our offense really flows,'' Johnson said. ''Matt does a good job of putting it on you very quickly.''
Johnson scored from 18 yards out on an excellent catch over cornerback Jimmy Smith.
''Jimmy Smith had good position, but the ball got there so quickly he didn't have time to react.''
Covering Johnson is no easy task, as evidenced by his numbers last year: 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns.
''You're talking about a person who should probably be running track, but he chose football,'' Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. ''He's a mismatch for a lot of people. The bottom line is you've just got to make him earn his check. Today, he earned his money.''
Safety Bernard Pollard added, ''The biggest thing with Calvin Johnson is he understands and knows where everybody is at, and he has a quarterback who doesn't care where anybody is at. He is a talent on the field, and he has a special gift.''
Stafford also connected with Titus Young for a 24-yard score to help Detroit (No. 11 tie in the AP Pro32) take a 17-9 halftime lead.
Operating under first-year coordinator Dean Pees, Baltimore's defense gave up 254 yards in the first half and a whopping 507 overall. The Ravens (No. 5) are trying to rebound from an offseason injury to linebacker Terrell Suggs and the loss of free agents Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson.
''We have to complete plays, not just be in position to make them,'' Pees said at halftime. ''Communication still isn't where we want it to be. We need to get better, and we will.''
Baltimore's points came on four field goals, two apiece by Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker.
The Ravens had two kick returns for touchdowns called back because of penalties. Deonte Thompson had a second-quarter kickoff return nullified, and Asa Jackson's punt return in the third quarter was wiped out.
Replacement officials called 20 penalties for 177 yards, including 13 infractions for 123 yards before halftime.
Joe Flacco went 7 for 12 for 79 yards and led the Ravens to a pair of field goals before leaving early in the second quarter. Ray Rice played only two series, gaining 12 yards on five carries and catching two passes for 11 yards.
''You're not going to peak real early, it's August,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''We're growing in some areas. We're not doing everything we're going to do.''
After getting to midfield on their first possession, the Ravens then moved 60 yards before Cundiff kicked a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Flacco went 4 for 7 for 43 yards on the drive, which was aided by a roughing-the-passer call on Nick Fairley.
On Baltimore's third possession, Jacoby Jones ran 35 yards on a reverse, and Detroit's Justin Durant was called for a facemask penalty to set up a 50-yard field goal by Tucker for a 6-0 lead.
Stafford put the Lions ahead with his touchdown pass to Johnson, and in his final series the quarterback completed passes to four receivers in a march that ended with Young diving into the end zone on a third-and-4 play.
The Lions were without running backs Jahvid Best (concussion) and Mikel Leshoure (hamstring). Kevin Smith started and ran for 11 yards on four carries, and reserve Stephfon Green went 76 yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left.
Backup Stefan Logan was carted off the field in the second quarter with an ankle injury after colliding with Stafford on a handoff. X-rays were negative.
Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Detroit Lions were 14-2 the last four years in the preseason, but they opened last week with a 19-17 loss to Cleveland.
The second of their four exhibitions comes up Friday night (8 p.m. on FOX) in Baltimore. Here are five storylines to follow:
1. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the first-team offense failed to score on three possessions in the opener. It wont be easy...
Who would have thought that the Lions could come back from a record-setting 0-16 season in 2008 only to make it to the playoffs in 2011?
Lions fans, of course, and even analysts predicting that without such an abysmal year the Lions couldn’t have picked up the young Georgia quarterback to begin their comeback journey. What does 2012 have in store for Detroit?
Let’s take a look...
Calvin "Megatron" Johnson showed why he gets paid the big bucks... He made one of the most outstanding TD catches over CB Jimmy Smith I've ever witnessed... Ravens broadcaster Jerry Sandusky called it an "Alley Oop off shoulder" reception, something that's almost impossible to draw up on a play diagram...The Ravens unveiled their new no-huddle or "...
The Lions first team looked much better this week in a 27-12 preseason win over the Ravens Friday night from Baltimore.
Matthew Stafford looked very much like the dominant QB he was last season going 12 for 17 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. This included an impressive 18 yard connection with Calvin Johnson for the score. Less than five minutes later Stafford continued to look...
Big turning point in the preseason preparation of the Ravens comes in the form of the explosive Detroit Lions, who invade Baltimore on the evening of August 17, 2012...The big story for the Lions on Wednesday was the return of Mikel Leshoure. The running back took part in individual drills, but still sat out the team portions of practice. He is not expected to play against the Ravens...
Especially with the injuries in the offensive backfield, Stefan Logan is seeing his role expand with the Detroit Lions.
Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Ryan McBean will miss the entire season due to the foot injury he suffered in the team’s preseason win against the Atlanta Falcons, according to the team's official site.
We’ll let Ryan describe the details:
"Well, when my foot was facing the direction to where it wasn't supposed to be facing, then I figured, 'Yeah, OK...
Stefan Logan needed crutches to get to the locker room after Fridays 27-12 preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens, but Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said initial X-rays on his return mans right ankle came back negative. Well see, Schwartz said. It didnt look great on film according to our doctors, but Logans a pretty tough guy. Well just see how that comes out...
The Detroit Lions improved to 1-1 on the preseason with a 27-12 over the Ravens on a rainy night in Baltimore. Continue reading →
Ravens veteran defensive lineman Ryan McBean underwent successful surgery this week to repair his broken left ankle, according to two sources. Dr. Robert Anderson, a Charlotte, N.C., orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating professional athletes' foot and ankle injuries, performed the procedure. That involved inserting metal hardware into the ankle to aid the healing process...
The Detroit Lions claimed former Dallas Cowboys guard/center Bill Nagy off waivers and placed cornerback Drew Coleman on injured reserve Thursday. Nagy, 24, was released by the Cowboys earlier in the week and underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a high left ankle sprain, which he suffered during training camp. A seventh-round draft pick out of Wisconsin in 2011, Nagy appeared in...
RavensInsider.com takes a look at what's going on following Baltimore's loss to Detroit. Among those items is how Bryant McKinnie fits in with Baltimore's new no-huddle offense.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports that Raven QB Joe Flacco is poised to have more control over teams offense this season. The key to all of this will depend on how much freedom offensive coordinator Cam Camerons is willing to give Flacco at the line of scrimmage. During the championship game, Flacco looked like a difference-maker, but the Ravens are hoping that he can continue...
In this episode of Lions LIVE, Downtown, Adam and The Champ recap the Great Lakes Classic and whether or not any positives can be taken from the game. This includes Bill Bentley’s first game as a Lions, Ndamukong Suh and his efforts to put last season behind him and the continued chemistry between Matthew Stafford and the first team offense.