Baltimore Ravens handle Tampa Bay Buccaneers in preseason opener

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TAMPA, Fla. — Joe Flacco was sharp in his preseason debut, Bernard Pierce scored on a 20-yard run and a revamped Baltimore defense forced four turnovers in the Ravens’ 44-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw a pair of TD passes for the Super Bowl champions, including a 21-yarder to LaQuan Williams, who also scored when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.


In Nashville, Tenn., Robert Griffin III handled the coin toss, and Kirk Cousins picked up where he left off last season filling in at quarterback, throwing for a touchdown as Washington edged Tennessee.

The Redskins sat eight starters, including Griffin.


In Cleveland, Brandon Weeden threw a touchdown pass and led the Browns on two scoring drives, and Travis Benjamin returned a punt 91 yards for a TD as Cleveland won coach Rob Chudzinski’s exhibition debut.

49ERS: Signed cornerback Eric Wright to a one-year deal, just a few weeks after their first attempt to acquire Wright was voided.

The 49ers were set to acquire Wright from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a trade until the 28-year-old Wright failed a physical July 22. The 49ers voided the trade and the Buccaneers released him.

Injuries have been an issue for the 49ers. The receiving corps has been hit hardest, but Chris Culliver’s loss to a torn anterior cruciate ligament is also a costly blow that weakened the secondary.

JAGUARS: Blaine Gabbert is getting the first crack at the team’s quarterback job, albeit without three offensive starters.

Head coach Gus Bradley said that Gabbert will start against the Miami Dolphins tonight, but he plans to give Chad Henne some repetitions behind the first-team offensive line.

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