Tonight, the Ravens travel to Landover to play the Redskins at FedEx Field in both team’s second preseason game. Most ‘Skins fans are still buzzing about Washington’s 42-17 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills last week. Aren’t the Bills already on the clock?
But after dropping 42 points on the Bills, Redskins fans all over have a new sense of confidence for the regular season, and rightfully so. As for tonight’s game, the Ravens are not the Bills and the Redskins have a better chance seeing Albert Haynesworth practice consecutive days than scoring 42 points on the Ravens’ defense.
The thing about this game is it’s another preseason game that doesn’t matter past the first quarter, and the preseason is really the only time these two teams play each other. With Baltimore in the AFC North and Washington in the NFC East, regular season games between the two franchises come about as often as the Olympics. And when the teams do play, Baltimore is usually the winner.
Since 1996, the Beltway “Rivalry” has been played four times during the regular season. Baltimore has taken three-out-of-four including the first game in 1997 and the most recent game in 2008. The only time the Redskins won came during the Ravens’ 2000 SuperBowl season — before Trent Dilfer took over under center.
Baltimore took the 2008 meeting 24-10. But the ’08 season was also the last time new Redskins quarterback Donovon McNabb played against the Ravens. McNabb was benched after halftime in favor of Kevin Kolb and the Eagles eventually lost 36-7.
Needless to say, the Beltway Rivalry has been everything but an actual rivalry. It’ll be a fun game to watch since so many people in the area are fans both teams but it’s never going garner the same attention as a Dallas/Washington rivalry or a Pittsburgh/Baltimore one.
One positive note for the Redskins is Baltimore safety Ed Reed isn’t playing tonight. Reed was a complete menace in 2008 against the Jim Zorn coached Washington squad. Zorn is now the quarterbacks coach for Baltimore.
Where there are a lot of little storylines heading into tonight’s game, the only thing that will matter is the outcome of the game. And considering it’s still August, the final score will be peripheral
Last note: Baltimore shut out Washington last preseason 23-0. The Redskins last beat the Ravens 13-7 in the 2007 preseason, it was a shortened three-quarter game due to rain.