Ravens' Joe Flacco answers all the questions in first game back

Flacco glad to have first game behind him (1:14)

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco says his repaired knee felt good in his return to action against the Lions and that he's ready for the regular season to begin. (1:14)

BALTIMORE -- The numbers say Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was solid in his first game in 279 days.

Flacco completed 11 of 16 passes for 94 yards passing in Saturday's 30-9 victory over the Detroit Lions. But Flacco's performance went beyond statistics.

Just as in training camp, Flacco showed no effects from a season-ending knee injury suffered nine months ago. In one quarter of work, Flacco answered all the questions:

  • With pressure in his face, Flacco stepped into a 12-yard throw to Mike Wallace to convert a third down.

  • Flacco moved well in the pocket, taking a few steps to escape it on one play before dumping off a pass to Justin Forsett.

  • On his 13th play of the night, Flacco took his first sack, getting brought down by former teammate Haloti Ngata and then popping right up off the ground.

Flacco is not expected to play in the preseason finale, so this will be his only work before the regular season. But, based on how he threw the ball, Flacco knocked off any rust from not playing since last November.

"It felt really good," the 31-year-old said of his return. "I was a little quick on a couple things, but it felt great to be back out there. To get back out there -- to be out there with the guys -- that's what it is all about."

QB depth chart: Flacco led one scoring drive in his preseason debut. Ryan Mallett was impressive one week after coach John Harbaugh indicated there was a competition at backup quarterback. He was 10-of-15 for 112 yards passing (111.0 rating), throwing one touchdown and running one in from the goal line.

Maybe that dude could start: Wide receiver Jeremy Butler. This category would've gone to rookie running back Kenneth Dixon before he had to be helped off the field with a knee injury. Butler, who entered the game tied for the NFL preseason lead in catches, scored a touchdown for the second consecutive week. He made a diving 25-yard catch in the end zone.

Who got hurt? Tight end Benjamin Watson tore his right Achilles tendon on first play from scrimmage and is likely out for the season. ... Dixon sprained his left knee on a goal-line run late in the second quarter. Dixon was making a play for the starting job (50 total yards in the first half) before Ngata came crashing down on his leg. He didn't return to the game. ... Safety Lardarius Webb was a late scratch after warm-ups, but his injury isn't considered serious.

A surprise player who impressed: Defensive back/linebacker Anthony Levine. The longtime special-teams standout was all over the field on defense in the second quarter. He sacked Matthew Stafford to move the Lions out of the red zone, and he picked off Stafford to put Baltimore's offense in the red zone. Levine finished with four tackles.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Ravens looked ...: Much better than the previous two preseason games. With Flacco back, the offense moved the ball into Lions' territory on both of his drives. And, with Terrell Suggs also seeing his first game action, the defense forced a punt on the opening series for the first time this preseason.

One reason to be concerned: Run defense. In the first half, the Lions broke three runs over 10 yards: a 34-yarder by Theo Riddick, an 11-yarder by Ameer Abdullah and an 11-yard scramble by Stafford. This came a week after Harbaugh expressed disappointment in the number of yards allowed on the ground.

Suggs makes an impact: Suggs made his presence felt immediately in his preseason debut. In 11 plays, he made two tackles, showed quick feet and set the edge on run defense. "It felt great; I'm not going to lie," said Suggs, who hadn't played in a game since tearing his left Achilles 11 months ago.

Is Buck Allen in danger of not making the team?: The second-year player entered Saturday listed No. 2 on the depth chart but was the fourth running back to get into the game. Allen didn't get an offensive snap until there were three minutes left in the first half. A fourth-round pick in 2015, Allen has been the least impressive in a running-back group that includes Forsett, Dixon and Terrance West.