The Baltimore Ravens deconstructed the Buffalo Bills in all three phases of the game, cruising to a 47-3 victory on a windy, rainy Sunday afternoon. The Bills put up a giant goose egg in the first half, with seven consecutive three-and-outs and no first downs before the end of the half. Starting quarterback Nate Peterman was chased from the game in the third quarter after throwing his second interception of the day, dashing Buffalo’s plans to keep rookie Josh Allen on ice.
Peterman had an awful day reminiscent of his first career start against the LA Chargers, finishing 5-of-18 for 24 yards and two interceptions, while taking three sacks for 12 yards. His receivers didn’t do him any favors, with Kelvin Benjamin in particular having a day to forget. Buffalo’s top receiver caught only one of 7 targets, dropped a potential touchdown pass, and was beaten running his route on one of Peterman’s interceptions.
Even when the Bills had circumstances work out in their favor, they failed to capitalize. A fumble recovery set the Bills up at the edge of field goal range, but they moved backwards and missed the kick on fourth down. A Ravens punt returner muffed the punt, and there were only Bills in the vicinity to try and recover the ball, but they bumbled around the ball and swept it out of bounds, handing possession back to the Ravens.
The defense was extremely shaky at the start of the game, as the Ravens controlled the clock and scored two touchdowns. They settled in with the second quarter, but as the offensive failures piled up, so did exhaustion. Baltimore ended the half with a nine-play, 85 yard touchdown drive that was conspicuous for the way Sean McDermott failed to call timeout a single time in the final three minutes of the half, and his tired defenders surrendered in the end zone.
In the third quarter, the Ravens benefited from outstanding field position with a fumbled snap from rookie Cody Bojorquez and a Peterman interception, scoring two more touchdowns with only 15 net yards. At that point, there was really no more argument for keeping the rookie on the bench.
Allen came in during the third quarter against Baltimore’s starters and brought some life to the offense, driving the team two a field goal on his second drive and single-handedly tallying more offense than the rest of Buffalo’s players combined to that point. It was against some softer zone looks, but Allen was still clearly more effective than his predecessor on the field. By the fourth quarter, the Ravens were also playing their rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, effectively turning this into a lopsided preseason look.
One of the only bright spots was rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. He had seven tackles, a sack, the aforementioned forced fumble, and two passes defended (one was nearly an interception). His teammate Matt Milano also had a great day, with 8 tackles and two tackles for loss.
On an injury note, rookie cornerback Taron Johnson left the game after a hard tackle and did not return. Shaq Lawson appeared to tweak his lower body in chasing Jackson on a bootleg, and walked off the field.