Ryan Mallett threw a touchdown pass and Bobby Rainey ran for a touchdown as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New Orleans Saints 14-13 in the preseason finale for both teams on Thursday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Both teams held out many of their starters as the Ravens (4-0) finished the preseason undefeated for the second consecutive season and seventh time in franchise history. Baltimore opens the regular season at Cincinnati on Sept. 10.
New Orleans (2-2) opens at Minnesota on Sept. 11.
Mallett started in place of Joe Flacco and completed 3 of 8 passes for 19 yards. Flacco (back) did not play in the preseason, but he is expected to start the opener.
Rainey, starting as Terrance West and Danny Woodhead rested, rushed nine times for 42 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards.
Chase Daniel started in place of Drew Brees for the Saints and competed 11 of 19 passes for 103 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Daniel Lasco, hoping make the roster as New Orleans’ fourth running back, led the team with 30 yards on five carries but lost a fumble. Mark Ingram II, Adrian Peterson and rookie Alvin Kamara rested.
Neither team scored a touchdown after the Ravens took a 14-7 halftime lead.
Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and his 48-yarder midway through the fourth got the Saints within 14-13. Lutz had a chance to win the game, but his 59-yard attempt was wide right with 13 seconds left.
The Ravens had an interception and blocked a field goal attempt ahead of touchdowns that gave them an early 14-0 lead.
Nose tackle Carl Davis intercepted a Daniel pass and returned the ball to the New Orleans 7. Four plays later on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Mallett threw a touchdown pass to Chris Moore midway through the first quarter.
That was the first touchdown allowed by the Saints defense since the preseason opener.
The Saints’ first scoring opportunity fizzled when Patrick Ricard blocked Lutz’s 49-yard field goal attempt. Rainey capped the ensuing possession with a 2-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
New Orleans cut the deficit in half when Daniel threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill with 15 seconds left in the second quarter.