BALTIMORE (AP) Joe Flacco and backup quarterback Matt Schaub directed first-quarter touchdown drives, and the Baltimore Ravens beat the New Orleans Saints 30-27 Thursday night in a preseason opener.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was held out by coach Sean Payton. Brees participated in pregame drills but remained on the sideline after the opening kickoff.
Luke McCown started, and by the time New Orleans got its initial first down Baltimore led 17-0.
New Orleans took the lead for the first time when Marcus Murphy scored on a 3-yard run with 1:56 left. The score came after Terrence Frederick picked off a pass by Bryn Renner.
Renner answered with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2 seconds left to give Baltimore the win.
Flacco stuck around for just one series: a 16-play, 80-yard march in which he completed five of six passes for 33 yards and ran for 17 yards. The drive lasted more than eight minutes and ended with a 1-yard, fourth-down run by Lorenzo Taliaferro.
Schaub took over and threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Michael Campanaro. The 34-year-old Schaub, a two-time Pro Bowler, is poised to replace the departed Tyrod Taylor behind Flacco.
Playing through the third quarter, Schaub went 11 for 18 for 134 yards with an interception.
The Ravens scored on each of their first four drives, using the two early touchdowns and a pair of field goals by Justin Tucker to go up 20-7.
Flacco set the tone.
''It was a great way for us to start the game, to have a good, solid drive with everybody in there,'' the eighth-year quarterback said. ''You feel like everything you've been doing during training camp is paying off.''
McCown left late in the second quarter after going 7 of 10 for 75 yards, including a 28-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks.
Third-stringer Ryan Griffin got New Orleans to 20-14 at halftime with a 21-yard pass to Khiry Robinson, finishing off a 90-yard drive that lasted just 88 seconds.
''It doesn't matter who's in there, we can't give up a 90-yard drive at the end of a half,'' Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.
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