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McNair fires first TD as Raven in victory over Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Steve McNair finally got his first
touchdown pass with the Baltimore Ravens, giving himself and his
team a dose of momentum headed into the regular season.

Don't even mention preseason momentum to the Washington
Redskins. They were beaten soundly in all four games, and the
first-team offense never scored a point.

It took a laboriously long drive -- including a penalty by the
Redskins on a field goal attempt -- but McNair hit Mark Clayton for
a 15-yard score Thursday night to highlight Baltimore's 17-10
victory over Washington. It was the first touchdown for the Ravens'
starting offense since the opening drive of the first preseason
game.

"It's always good to get a score like that, especially in the
last preseason game," McNair said. "You know that next week
everything becomes playing for real, so you want to go into that
game with confidence and feeling good about yourself. We got some
things done that we needed to accomplish tonight."

Feeling his way through the playbook in his first season in
Baltimore, McNair played two series and went 4-for-6 for 62 yards.
He completed 76 percent (35-for-46) of his passes in the preseason,
but the lack of points had been a concern.

McNair helped allay those qualms with a seven-play, 71-yard
drive that began with a 35-completion to Devard Darling after a
nice scramble by the quarterback. The drive stalled at Washington's
32, but the Redskins had too many men on the field on a 49-yard
field goal attempt by Matt Stover that missed wide right.

The Ravens then converted a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive
alive. Four plays later, McNair found Clayton in a seam in the end
zone. Kyle Boller added a 29-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius
Williams in the second quarter, and Baltimore's first-team defense
was solid again -- it allowed only one touchdown during the
preseason.

The Ravens (2-2) rebounded from a 30-7 loss to Minnesota last
week, a game coach Brian Billick called "a miserable performance
across the board." Needless to say, he was happier this time.

"It was better than last week, when we were a little flat,"
Billick said. "The Redskins are a physical bunch, and we went
toe-to-toe with them."

The Redskins (0-4) completed an embarrassing August in which the
first-team offense, defense and special teams looked remarkably
second-tier -- even when taking into the account the bland schemes
run in preseason. The starting offense failed to score -- failed
even to reach the red zone -- in roughly five quarters of play, and
the weaknesses of the defensive secondary are becoming a serious
concern.

The Redskins scored only 27 points total in their four
exhibition games, by far the fewest since at least 1961, the
earliest year for which team preseason records are available. One
bit of solace for fans: Washington's last winless preseason was in
1982, the season coach Joe Gibbs won his first Super Bowl.

"Certainly that's not the way we wanted to play," Gibbs said.

Gibbs and the players then said they were happy the preseason
was over. Now they will focus on the Monday night opener Sept. 11
against Minnesota.

"Everything points toward Monday night," Gibbs said. "We've
got to find a way to play well."

Mark Brunell went 2-for-4 for 12 yards, finishing the preseason
16-for-35 for 174 yards. He played two series Thursday. One ended
with a three-and-out, and the other stalled at Baltimore's 42 when
tight end Chris Cooley dropped a pass on third-and-2. Washington's
only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter on Todd Collins'
4-yard pass to Mike Espy.

Ravens fullback Justin Green left the game in the first quarter
with a sprained MCL in his knee, and backup defensive tackle
Aubrayo Franklin sustained a hip injury. Redskins quarterback Jason
Campbell and receiver Jimmy Farris both left with hamstring
injuries.

The Redskins played without seven projected starters. Offensive
linemen Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas and receiver Santana Moss
were given the night off, while running back Clinton Portis
(shoulder), cornerback Shawn Springs (abdomen), defensive tackle
Cornelius Griffin (knee) and defensive end Phillip Daniels (back)
are recovering from injuries.

The Ravens rested cornerback Chris McAlister (thigh) and WR
Derrick Mason (knee), and Jamal Lewis missed his second straight
game with a hip injury.

Game notes
Washington rookie safety Reed Doughty missed the game to
fly to Colorado to attend the birth of his child. ... Other players
who did not suit up for the Redskins: DE Renaldo Wynn (ankle), DE
Demetric Evans (tooth), LB Robert McCune (hamstring). ... Others
not dressing for the Ravens: S Jerome Sapp (stomach) and G Brian
Rimpf (hamstring).