Sam Howell set them up. Jake Fromm knocked them down.
The Washington Commanders mounted a late fourth quarter rally capped by a 49-yard Joey Slye Field goal for a 29-28 win over the Baltimore Ravens Monday night. The victory broke a remarkable 24-game preseason win streak from the Ravens that had stood since 2016.
The record had stood since 2021 when Baltimore beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of the preseason. That 20-3 win tied the Green Bay Packers (1959-6-2) for the longest preseason winning streak in league history at 19. Six wins later, the record is all Baltimore’s. Prior to Monday, the last time they lost a preseason game was a 20-19 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 of the 2015 preseason.
Baltimore’s record might never be challenged. Winning 24 straight times at anything is a stunning statistical achievement, no matter the stakes — or lack thereof. The Las Vegas Raiders now claim the longest active preseason win streak with six. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won five straight.
“It’s a credit to the organization, how we practice, how versatile of a team that we have,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews told ESPN’s Lisa Salters during the game.
So did the streak actually mean anything in the Ravens locker room? It does to Andrews.
“We take pride in working hard in training camp and winning games,” he continued.
Now it’s time to start a new one.
The streak was in jeopardy after a strong first half from Commanders quarterback Sam Howell. The second-year fifth-round pick out of North Carolina was recently named the team’s starter for the regular season. He showed why with his passes and his poise in two quarters of play.
Howell led the Commanders to two touchdowns and a field goal in four first-half possessions as Washington took a 17-14 lead into halftime. His stint included a successful two-minute drill that concluded with an 11-yard touchdown to Dyami Brown.
He finished the half completing 19 of 25 passes for 188 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers, primarily against Ravens backups. He added 17 rushing yards on three carries. His biggest mistake was a second-down sack that led to third-and-15 when he had time to get rid of the ball. But he followed it up with a 17-yard completion to tight end Cole Turner in a tight window to pick up the first down. He didn’t play in the second half.
Washington committed two second-half turnovers, with a Christop Rodriguez fumble leading to Ravens touchdown that gave Baltimore a 28-21 lead. Washington had a chance to tie the game late, but a Kyu Kelly tackle of fullback Alex Armah kept Washington short of a two-point conversion.
But the Commanders had one last chance, and a drive led by backup quarterback Fromm set up Slye’s game-winning field goal with nine seconds remaining.
The Commanders started ther decisive drive at their own 9-yard line with 2:54 remaining. They looked done when Curtis Hodges couldn’t hold on to a pass from Fromm on third-and 11 with 1:18 remaining. But a pass interference penalty by Corey Mayfield Jr. on fourth down gave Washington a new set of downs.
Fromm then completed four more passes including an eight-yard connection with Kazmeir Allen on third-and 10 to get Slye within comfortable field goal range. From there, Slye passed his first pressure test of 2023 by sending the ball through the uprights.