The Ravens are trying to get to the AFC Championship Game (and beyond) this year for the first time since 2012, but before they even begin to do that, they might make history. Despite missing star quarterback Lamar Jackson, most of its starting offensive line and a handful of other big names on Saturday night, Baltimore edged the Saints 17-14 in its preseason opener. The victory means literally nothing for the club’s title hunt, but it marks the Ravens’ 18th straight preseason win under coach John Harbaugh, pushing the team within one victory of tying the NFL’s all-time record for consecutive exhibition victories.
Unbeaten in the preseason since 2016, the Ravens trailed the Saints more than halfway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s matchup, before third-string QB Tyler Huntley found the end zone on a rushing touchdown. Six takeaways, including interceptions of competing New Orleans QBs Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, helped propel Baltimore’s win. According to According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, only Vince Lombardi’s 1959-1962 Packers have now won more preseason games in a row, with 19.
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Harbaugh, for what it’s worth, has claimed he takes pride in the Ravens’ preseason record, even if most teams admittedly use the preseason slate as a roster-shaping tool rather than an indication of what lies ahead.
“It means a lot,” he recently told the Ravens’ official website. “Whether it’s a winning streak, or just the idea of how you approach the games … I just think it’s a credit to the players in terms of preparation and the coaches over the years in terms of we run a good training camp, offseason program and guys are ready to play good fundamental football.”
The Ravens will have a chance to tie the NFL’s all-time preseason win streak when they visit the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 21.