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The Baltimore Ravens are a mesmerizing team when it comes to games that don’t count.
The Ravens beat Washington Football Team 37-3 on Saturday to set an NFL record for the most consecutive preseason wins. They have 20.
Since 2016, Baltimore has not lost a preseason match.
It seems impossible to string 20 wins together given the many factors that go into exhibition games: shorter playing time for starters; smaller playbooks; new packages; and young players fighting for roster spots.
Even though the games don’t count, the streak does. Lamar Jackson, the starting quarterback, nearly cut off a reporter who tried to inquire about the streak earlier this week out of fear that he would jinx it.
He stated that the competitive nature of keeping it alive was evident.
Jackson played a small part in the continuation of the streak. As he prepares for Week 1, Jackson completed three passes totalling 29 yards.
John Harbaugh, the head coach, had a different view on the streak. Ex-players at home can tell their families that they are part of league history, knowing full well how few men make it through training camp.
After sustaining a knee injury, J.K. Dobbins, running back on Saturday, took a backseat. This is how important it is to win 20 consecutive preseason games.
The Ravens are determined to win, but it cannot be at the expense of the players who will be needed to succeed when the games begin to matter.