Commanders fans hit FedEx Field for first preseason home game against Ravens

Fans were excited ahead of the Washington Commanders first game of the year at FedEx Field. 

Sam Howell threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns as the Commanders defeated the Baltimore Ravens 29-28 on a last-minute field goal, snapping one of the NFL’s most peculiar runs of success.

The loss marked the end of a 24-game preseason win streak for the Ravens, who passed the previous NFL record of 19, set by the Green Bay Packers in the 1950s.

Howell was still in middle school the last time the Baltimore Ravens lost a preseason game in 2015.

A relatively large crowd came out for the team’s second game of the preseason and fans are hoping to see another win for the team. They beat the Browns just over a week ago — a good foot forward under the new ownership. 

Josh Harris and Mark Ein made an appearance at the game in Cleveland last week and some of the new owners popped up for the Monday night game.

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21: Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders scrambles against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of the preseason game at FedExField on August 21, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Legendary Washington coach Joe Gibbs was in attendance with his grandson, NASCAR racer Ty Gibbs. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was the Commanders’ honorary captain, and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg shook hands with the ownership group, as did rapper Wale.

Harris joined ESPN’s broadcast of the game in the second quarter.

"I have a lot of faith in Sam (Howell) and the team," he said during the appearance.

The stadium parking lots opened up at 4 p.m. but some fans like Steve Simpson showed up even earlier.  

Simpson and his daughters got to Landover around 1 p.m. They didn’t know the parking lots wouldn’t be open for another three hours but they waited patiently, eager to be a part of the team’s new chapter.

"It’s a new era and we wanted to be part of it. I did attend some games 20 years ago but things just [weren’t] right," Simpson said.  

FOX 5’s David Kaplan found one Ravens fan who also arrived at the field early and asked him if their 24-game win streak mattered.

"In all honestly, I don’t really care about the preseason too much as far as scoring and wins goes because as far as I’m concerned, it’s more practice for the teams and fans to get hyped up for the season. I obviously want my team to win. Nobody’s going to come to a game and not want their team to win," Edward Smith said. 

Head coach Ron Rivera said the next preseason game will be focused on getting the team’s starters ready for the regular season opener. Commanders will host Cincinnati on Saturday night in their preseason finale.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.