The third preseason game, most of the time, is not only the most exciting, but it gives fans a preview for what their home team will look like in week 1. Well, on Thursday night vs. Washington, this 3rd game didn’t disappoint. From the opening kickoff, until the last bit of hope that the Skins had with the Hail Mary on the last play, Ravens fans had excitement all throughout.
Many things impressed me on Thursday, and I think that John Harbaugh should be proud of the how our Baltimore Ravens played “Ravens Football.”
First of all, I liked the way that Chuck Pagano ran the defense in this “dress rehearsal”. It sure feels like the Ravens are back to playing the aggressive football that we fans yearned for last year.
Although the team only had two sacks Thursday, they put pressure on Beck, Grossman, and Clemens consistently. And it was not just the starting “D” that did great work; the backup teams rushed the passer and put just as much pressure as the main Defenders did.
This is a good thing to see. Knowing that if any of our starters get hurt, we have capable reserves that can “Play Like a Raven.”
Thursday night, Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor passed for 344 yards and had three TD passes. These are the kind of stats the Ravens passing attack NEEDS to have game after game.
The thing that gets me pumped up for week one vs. Pittsburgh is the fact that we finally have a deep threat passing attack that we need!
It surely looks like Lee Evans is the threat that we needed. Evans is showing great hands in his opportunities with the team. I see Evans helping the Ravens in critical games including the ones against Pittsburgh.
I enjoy seeing the team get back to smash mouth football! Not only does this concern the defensive side of the ball, it needs to occur on the offense too! And this year, I believe it will happen. The addition of Vonta Leach is just what the doctor ordered! We already got a taste of how he plays the game when he layed out David Herron for Kansas City on a short pass from Joe Flacco. Surely, I would not have wanted to be Herron in that situation!
Ricky Williams brings a little taste of power running. With the departure of Willis McGahee, Williams is the running back we need to fill his spot and possibly be a 3rd down back.
The backup running back position is something that I will be interested to see play out. Ricky Williams, Jalen Parmele, and Anthony Allen are all backs that could fill a spot on the team’s depth chart and be a good choice in games.
Allen is a rusher that grabbed my attention this preseason. Sure, he dropped a key pass by Tyrod Taylor Thursday night that could have been a crucial play in the factor of the final score of the game. (Which by the way… I’m glad we won because, just because its preseason, doesn’t mean that I want to beat the ‘Skins any less!) But he had a few flashes of excellence and bursts of speed. Allen had a good career at Georgia Tech and I believe he has what it takes to be a good backup in this league. Sure, Parmele has more experience and can play a good role in the Special Teams, but it would surely be sad to see Allen, a player with such potential, get cut from the team. I guess having too much talent is better than not having enough talent!
Now, we are onto the fourth preseason game. As much as this game can be grueling for us fans, there are things we can pay attention to that decide who is on the opening game roster
One question that is up in the air… who will be the 6th Wide Receiver?
We know who is here for sure, Boldin, Evans, Doss, Smith and Reed.
My surprise pick for the job is LaQuan Williams. He has showed up to play this preseason and training camp and shown an excellent burst of speed on the punt return against Washington that put Tyrod Taylor’s offense in position to win the game.
We will see what “Harbs” decides to do with game plan and roster strategy. But all I know is that whoever is on the field at any given time, they have the ability… to PLAY LIKE A RAVEN!