Redskins lead Ravens 13-7 when game is halted by lightning in 3rd quarter
LANDOVER, Md. -- Lightning delayed the start for more than an hour, then another storm halted the game in the third quarter. In between, the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins maintained the spirit of the evening with a few false starts of their own.
The Redskins led the Ravens 13-7 Saturday night when play was suspended with 11:38 remaining in the third quarter-- just after the stadium lights dimmed while an incomplete pass from Kyle Boller to Marcus Freeman was in mid-flight.
Officials monitored the weather radar to see if the game could be resumed, but most of the meaningful football had already been played. Both teams had sent mostly reserves onto the field in the second half after using their starters for the first.
The Redskins scored shortly before the game was halted on the Ravens' first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. With the ball on Baltimore's 18-yard line, Anthony Trucks blitzed and knocked the ball away from Boller just as the quarterback was about to pass. The ball landed in the hands of rookie linebacker Dallas Sartz, who strolled 3 yards for the touchdown.
Defense dominated the first half, hardly surprising given the way the two teams had played in their previous preseason games. The Ravens failed to score a touchdown in last week's loss to the New York Giants, and the Redskins had managed only one TD in a loss to Pittsburgh.
The Ravens starting offense survived a clumsy first quarter -- five 5-yard penalties, including four false starts -- before Steve McNair settled down and led a 13-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. Derrick Mason scored on a 6-yard touchdown reception, catching the ball then leaving linebacker Rocky McIntosh flat-footed with a nifty change-of-direction move.
"I am not happy with the start of the game," Baltimore coach Brian Billick said. "We weren't sharp, and those procedure penalties put us in the hole. Lightning, rain, wet field -- those are no excuses. That didn't cause the problems. What we are pleased about is the way we bounced back."
The Redskins' Santana Moss made a nice catch on a 40-yard completion from Todd Collins on the first play from scrimmage, then the offense stalled. Washington failed to get another first down until late in the second quarter.
The pass to Moss led to a 45-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham, who converted from 25 yards on a 15-play, penalty-aided drive just before halftime. An offside call on Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs on fourth-and-1 kept the drive alive, as did a 19-yard pass from Collins to Antwaan Randle El.
Collins was starting in place of Jason Campbell, out with a bruised knee. Collins, competing against Mark Brunell for the No. 2 quarterback job, finished 8-for-15 for 88 yards. Washington's running game struggled for the third straight week, gaining only 32 yards on 13 rushes.
McNair went 14-for-19 for 98 yards. Mason had five catches for 31 yards.
The first sign of trouble from Mother Nature came at 7:20 p.m. when stadium officials ordered fans to head for the covered concourses with lightning visible in the distance. Heavy rain started falling soon afterward, the lights flickered several times, and the first of several cracks of thunder reverberated throughout the stadium just before the scheduled 8 p.m. kickoff.
Fans returned to their seats at 8:50, and Suisham finally teed up the ball and started the game at 9:11. Most of the first half was played in light rain.
The Redskins played without six projected starters: Campbell, running back Clinton Portis (knee tendinitis), left tackle Chris Samuels (sprained knee), linebacker Marcus Washington (dislocated elbow), cornerback Shawn Springs (precautionary rest) and left guard Pete Kendall, who arrived only two days earlier in a trade with the New York Jets.
Those not in uniform for the Ravens included cornerback Samari Rolle (sprained ankle), receiver Mark Clayton (sprained ankle), and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (swollen knee). Defensive tackle Trevor Pryce left the game early with back spasms. Safety Ed Reed (bruised thigh) and linebacker Prescott Burgess (concussion) were also injured in the first half.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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