John Harbaugh: Ryan Mallett played winning football

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In the regular season, the final score of the game tends to cover many sins as long as your team comes out on top.

The preseason generally doesn’t work that way, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh went that route on Thursday night when he was asked about quarterback Ryan Mallett‘s play. Mallett started the game with Joe Flacco still bothered by a back issue and went 9-of-18 for 58 yards in a first half that saw him struggle to hit open receivers down the field.

The Ravens defense stifled the Redskins while that was going on and the Ravens took a 13-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, leaving Harbaugh to focus solely on the score when asked to evaluate Mallett’s play.

“I thought he played winning football,” Harbaugh said. “He played good football, just what we asked him to do.”

The Ravens were playing without many offensive pieces, including their top three wide receivers and their starting guards, so struggles on that side of the ball aren’t a major surprise. That may not make anyone feel any more comfortable with the prospect of Mallett as the starting quarterback, but the word from Baltimore remains that Flacco will be back in time to avoid that fate.