But Michael Phelps Steals The Show
Whether it’s a locker room game of cornhole or a preseason football game, NFL players want to win. So when the Ravens tame the Panthers despite the odds, beating the reigning NFC Champion is a moral victory. It’s also the team’s first opportunity to knock heads with players wearing different helmets.
Here’s the Good, Bad, Ugly & The Megan Fox
The Ravens have a solid stable of running backs and all three that were active today made plus contributions. The Terrance West coming home comeback story continues to build momentum. He exhibited a burst, showed good vision and demonstrated an ability to find the end zone — twice…Buck Allen followed his blocks well while waltzing into the end zone on a 19-yard screen. He also held up well in pass protection…Jeremy Butler contributed 5 catches, effectively locating soft spots in zone
coverage to help bail out his quarterback when under pressure. He also contributed a nice block to help spring Allen on his TD…Darren Waller shook off a drop that resulted in an interception and finished with 5 grabs for 48 yards to lead the team…Nick Boyle had a nice run after catch to pick up 29 yards on a toss from Josh Johnson…The offensive line held up well allowing only 1 sack… Alex Lewis was effective at left tackle and Vlad Ducasse had THE key block on Allen’s TD…Ronnie Stanley was also impressive albeit in limited action.
Za’Darius Smith had a big strip sack to help set up the Ravens first scoring opportunity, one that they relinquished with a turnover…Matt Judon was active and did a nice job setting the edge. He led the team with 7 tackles and added a sack…Willie Henry was effective pushing the pocket and scraping down the line of scrimmage. He had 3 tackles including one for a loss… Reserve D-Lineman Michael Pierce had an eye opening outing with 3 tackles, a QB pressure and a ½ sack…Chris Carter was explosive getting after the QB. He had a couple pressures, ½ sack and 2 tackles…Zach Orr looked comfortable beside CJ Mosley both in coverage and run support. He burst through the B-gap to drop Fozzy Whitaker for a 4-yard loss…Terrence Brooks showed some improvement while Will Davis continues to exhibit solid coverage skills…Matt Elam showed some signs of life with a PD at the end of the game. He also did a nice job recognizing and blowing up a potential big play on a flanker screen…The Ravens netted 44.7 yards on 3 punts, in part because of the effectiveness of Tavon Young as the gunner.
Ryan Mallett underthrew a wide open Jeremy Butler streaking down the left sideline for a TD…Ravens centers had some sloppy snaps when in shotgun formation…The two minute defense was shaky as was the effectiveness of Dean Pees’ unit on third down in the first half…The Ravens continued an undesirable trend established in 2015 – tipping their blitzes…Twice linebackers (Z. Smith, Albert McClellan) failed to hold the edge on reverses…Jerraud Powers showed poor technique allowing
receivers to cross his face for 2 successful 3rd and long conversions…Shareece Wright was close to making a couple of plays but failed to finish, one resulting in a touchdown…Sheldon Price was in the right place but failed to finish plays leading to sizable gains…Tavon Young made a poor decision bringing a kick out from 6 yards deep in the end zone, returning it to the 16. A touchback would start the drive at the 25.
Waller’s drop leading to an interception which should have been a pick-6 if not for Cam Newton doing Cam things and stepping out onto the field during the return, negating the TD…Jerry Rosburg’s kick coverage unit was very leaky…Kaelin Clay looked clueless as the punt returner while coughing one up to the Panthers and he later added a block in the back that negated nice YAC from Dan Brown on a crossing pattern…The Ravens have stressed turnovers and interceptions but once again they lost the battle of turnovers and failed to pick off a pass.
THE MEGAN FOX
He hasn’t been very active during training camp but when he has taken the field observers sensed that Kenneth Dixon can be something special. We caught a glimpse of that tonight and it appears that he could be one of those playmakers the Ravens are looking for. He had a nice return for 26 yards plus he chipped in with 44 yards on 9 carries.
The Ravens showed Michael Phelps’ successful quest for gold medal number 22. And added Megan Fox goes to the greatest Olympian of all-time. Here’s to Baltimore’s own!