Baltimore ruins Mora's first game

Posted: Friday, August 13, 2004

BALTIMORE Reserve tight end Daniel Wilcox caught two touchdown passes, and the Baltimore Ravens spoiled Jim Mora's head coaching debut by cruising to a 24-0 preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Just like last year, the Falcons couldn't generate much offense without Michael Vick at quarterback. Vick left after the first series, and backup Matt Schaub went 12-for-24 for 108 yards and two interceptions.

Vick did, however, avoid injury, which made this outing a success compared to the last time he faced the Ravens.

In Atlanta's second exhibition game last year, Vick scrambled out of the pocket and broke his right leg when tackled by Baltimore linebacker Adalius Thomas. The Falcons were 2-9 before Vick returned Nov. 30.

On this night, Vick never got the chance to display his arm or scrambling ability. After handing off twice to Warrick Dunn, Vick dropped back to throw on third down and was nabbed by safety Will Demps, who received virtually no resistance after blitzing up the middle.

Bears 13, Rams 10, OT

ST. LOUIS Lovie Smith's head coaching debut, and his homecoming, was a bit on the sloppy side.

Ahmad Merritt returned the overtime kickoff 87 yards to the 7 to set up Paul Edinger's 25-yard winning field goal on the next play.

The Bears overcame 19 penalties for 160 yards in their preseason opener. The opening drive was short-circuited by four penalties and the Bears had been hit for 105 yards by halftime.

Smith was the defensive coordinator the last three years for the Rams, helping them reach the Super Bowl in 2001, and received a nice ovation during pregame introductions. He was hired by the Bears in January to replace Dick Jauron following a 7-9 season.

The Rams also stumbled with 12 penalties for 80 yards. Plus they had the only two turnovers, including a fumble after a reception by Dane Looker with 2:30 left in regulation to give the Bears the ball at the Chicago 29.

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