Ravens rip 49ers, 23-3, in preseason opener

By From page B8 | August 08, 2014

BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco needed just one drive to show how effective the Baltimore Ravens’ offense can be under Gary Kubiak.

Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-3 Thursday night in a preseason opener.

It was the third time in three tries that Ravens coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.

In this one, each team played its starting unit for one series before the backups took over.

After Colin Kaepernick moved the 49ers 66 yards for a field goal, Flacco made himself right at home in Kubiak’s variation of the West Coast offense, going 4-for-5 for 52 yards.

Kubiak, the former head coach of the Houston Texans, replaced offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, now Detroit’s head coach.

“The execution by the offense on our first drive was what we like to see,” John Harbaugh said at halftime. “Our technique and assignments were sharp. It was good, fundamentally sound football.”

Ray Rice ran three times for 17 yards after receiving a warm ovation from the home crowd during pregame introductions. Rice has been suspended by the NFL for the opening two regular season games after being arrested for domestic violence in February.

San Francisco had offensive coordinator Greg Roman back from last year, but he streamlined the playbook during the offseason in an effort to make it easier for Kaepernick to get the call in.

Kaepernick appeared relaxed at the helm during his lone series. He completed his only pass, 17 yards to tight end Vance McDonald.

San Francisco running back Frank Gore did not play. Rookie Carlos Hyde started and gained 39 yards on five carries.

Jonathan Martin started at right tackle for the 49ers in place of injured Anthony Davis (shoulder). Martin, who was in the center of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal involving former teammate Richie Incognito, came to San Francisco in an offseason trade.

Kaepernick’s backup, Blaine Gabbert, went 3-for-11 for 20 yards and an interception.

Flacco’s replacement, Tyrod Taylor, completed 13-of-21 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 59 yards on five carries.

Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for Baltimore, including a 55-yarder that made it 16-3 late in the third quarter.

The Associated Press

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