Arizona Cardinals not oblivious to Ravens’ 21-game preseason win streak
GLENDALE — Preseason football does not count in the win-loss column.
Stats aren’t rolled over into the regular season and the amount of actual starters taking part in the exhibitions is few and far between.
Don’t tell the Baltimore Ravens that.
The Ravens enter their Sunday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals with a bizarre 21-game win streak in the preseason, an NFL record.
As Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries — who was unaware of the streak until Thursday — put it, “it’s exciting and strange all at the same time.”
But before you start snickering at a bunch of games that carry little weight in the standings, there’s a method to the madness.
Since the streak began, the Ravens have won at least eight regular season games and made the playoffs three times, making it to the divisional round twice. They’ve finished first or second in their division in all but one season (2021).
“That’s part of their culture,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “They say, ‘We’re going to win these games and help it build into the regular season.’
“I respect that approach. Obviously, their team believes it, they’ve had one of the most successful franchises in the league. We’ll definitely get their best shot. We know it will be a real challenge.”
Baltimore’s streak first started with a 2016 victory over the Carolina Panthers and continued last week with a win over the Tennessee Titans, who the Cardinals face in Week 3 of the preseason.
Now, one of the players who helped the Ravens build that win streak could be the reason they take their first preseason L since 2015.
After shining in his first start of the preseason, Ravens 2019 sixth-round draft pick and current Cardinals QB Trace McSorley is expected to get the nod once again.
He knows all too well what Arizona is walking into on Sunday night.
“Knowing how they treat preseason, it’s kind of been something that I’ve been able to kind of impart some things to some of the guys here that you better be ready,” McSorley said. “Better be strapped up and ready to go, because they are going to bring it.
“Kind of like the old quote, ‘You play to win the game.’ They treat it like that,” the QB added. “It’s not just a preseason game for them. The starters and the veteran guys that aren’t going to be playing, they even get on some of the younger guys. They just talk about winning preseason over there. It’s not just about getting reps and trying to win a job.”