Ravens hold off Panthers

The Associated PressAugust 30, 2009 

With Joe Flacco nearly perfect and Baltimore's defense as ferocious as ever, the Ravens appear ready for the regular season.

The Carolina Panthers can only hope their injured players return quickly to shore up problems on both sides of the ball.

Flacco threw for 247 yards and a touchdown, the Ravens' defense shut down Carolina's first unit, and Baltimore beat the Panthers 17-13 on Saturday.

Also Saturday

Saints 45, Raiders 7: Quarterback Drew Brees completed 14 of 17 passes for 179 yards and drove New Orleans to touchdowns on all three drives he played, leading the Saints to an exhibition victory over host Oakland.

Lions 18, Colts 17: Drew Stanton threw a 21-yard pass to rookie Dan Gronkowski and a two-point conversion to John Standeford with 4:13 left to give host Detroit a win over Indianapolis in an exhibition game.

Steelers 17, Bills 0: Ben Roethlisberger played a nearly flawless first half in his first game since injuring his right foot, James Farrior had a 22-yard interception for a touchdown and Buffalo's starting offense struggled yet again as host Pittsburgh beat the Bills in a preseason game.

Browns 23, Titans 17: Brady Quinn threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and outplayed Derek Anderson in perhaps their final auditions for coach Eric Mangini to be Cleveland's starting quarterback, and the host Browns beat Tennessee in an exhibition game.

Late Friday

Packers 44, Cardinals 37: Aaron Rodgers threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns to open a 28-point halftime lead for visiting Green Bay.

Notes

If there's anything wrong with Tom Brady's throwing shoulder, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn't saying.

Belichick said Saturday that Brady came out of Friday night's game after a crushing hit from Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth because it was time for the coaching staff to take a look at the backups. He lumped any problem with Brady's right shoulder into the category of normal "bumps and bruises" from a physical game.

Chiefs QB Cassel leaves with injury: Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel left the field favoring his left leg after being sacked on the third play of Kansas City's game against Seattle.

Cassel was sacked by Brandon Mebane on the first passing play. He appeared to have a problem with his left leg but came off the field unassisted before being replaced by Tyler Thigpen.

Armstrong, Barth cut by Miami: Kicker Connor Barth was waived by the Miami Dolphins on Saturday. Barth, a former North Carolina standout, was competing with Dan Carpenter for the starting kicker's job.

Leftwich wins Bucs QB battle: Byron Leftwich has won Tampa Bay's prolonged quarterback derby by beating out Luke McCown. Leftwich will start the team's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

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