If you’ve made it this far, congrats on reaching the halfway point of preseason!
You’ve officially made it further than half of the Ravens roster!
With 2 weeks in the books, and Week 3 of the preseason underway, it’s likely this will be your last look at the starters before Week 1 of the regular season. We’ll also see fantasy drafts around the country taking place, typically as early as this weekend. And let’s be honest- if you drafted already? And you’re all ‘aww man! My first-round pick got hurt in preseason!’ Then you’re a daggum fool.
Nobody drafts before the third preseason games.
Side note on the above gif – The League is just the best. And only available on Netflix til the 30th! Start binge watching!
LAST WEEK: RAVENS 31, FINS 7
Another dominant all around performance by everyone in purple & black, sans anybody with a name that rhymes with Brian Pallett.
The defense finally allowed a touchdown (though it was much of the 2nd D unit), on a Senorise Perry 11-yard run. Fins fresh face at QB, Smokin’ Jay Cutler, basically just locked in on DeVante Parker for his few series, nearly throwing a pick along the way, then taking a breather on the bench.
On offense, Ryan Mallett was statuesque, threw a pair of picks, and pretty much furthered the narrative that he’s disposable. Meanwhile, one-time 4th string and now 3rd string QB Josh Woodrum continued to cause a stir among Ravens fans, with 2 rushing touchdowns of his own, a 2-point conversion on a pass to Larry Donnell, and the ability to actually hit his receivers in stride. He’s looked the part of an NFL backup QB, and I’d love to see him supplant Mallett.
Take the success with a 3rd string, preseason grain of salt. I know. Dream big dreams.
THIS WEEK: BILLS @ RAVENS, SATURDAY 8/26 @ 7PM
So many angles to this insignificant game this week!
The Bills have literally had a week from hell. First, newly acquired WR Jordan Matthews gets hurt in his first day at Bills practice. Then they fell to the Eagles 20-16 in their 2nd preseason game, with Tyrod Taylor‘s stat line actually worse than Ryan Mallet’s. Then Anquan Boldin decided he had zero interest in playing against the Ravens this week, so he up and retired (I’m convinced that played into the equation).
The Bills went from “we’re contending for a wild card spot!” to “ah, screw it, just sell off and rebuild” in a matter of 2 weeks. In August.
QUICK SIDE NOTE: Why are the Pats so freakin’ lucky?! Bills are rebuilding, Jets are rebuilding, and Fins lost their starting QB. Their division is a literal cake walk!
For the Ravens, it’s the same primary goal this week:
DON’T GET HURT!
(This should be the 2018 team slogan)
By the sounds of it, half of the starters will be in street clothes – Joe Flacco, Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Stanley, even rookie 1st rounder Marlon Humphrey won’t be suiting up. Which… ok, sure. At the rate of fallen Ravens this preseason it makes total sense that you’d hold them out for minor injuries. But at the same time? Lack of reps before the season starts, lack of cohesion, concern those injuries are long term and being hushed, et cetera, et cetera…
But hey, better than the alternative of running them out there and risking further injury, right?
On defense, the Ravens look to continue a strong preseason, having given up a whopping 10 points thus far. I’ll be interested in watching the Bills offensive line against the Ravens front 7 – if only to see who holds up, and question how soon until the trade winds start to swirl, as Baltimore is still seeking some O-Line help.
On offense… I don’t know anymore. I guess Mallet should probably try to do something. Like, anything at all positive. Not throw picks, maybe hit a receiver in stride, not throw ducks – these are all things he does on the regular, unfortunately. OR, we could hope to see Woodrum get some of those early snaps against 1st team defenses, hope he knocks our socks off, then supplants Mallet as Flacco’s backup for the upcoming season.
A pipe dream, I know, but I can dream can’t I?
The Rest of the Slate
As you finalize those rankings for your fantasy football league(s) here’s a few games to keep an eye on this weekend.
LA Chargers @ LA Rams- Saturday 8/25 @ 8pm– The Battle of Los Angeles. Two teams. One city. Zero people care.
NY Jets @ NY Giants- Saturday 8/25 @ 8pm– The Battle of New York. Two teams. One NFL caliber QB. Zero couth among the fanbases.
Bengals @ Skins- Sunday 8/26 @ 4:30pm– The Battle of second-tier Ravens rivals. Two teams. One starting QB moving to SF next year. Zero playoff wins for the Bengals, eternally.
With fantasy drafts front and center, let’s turn our focus to the worst of the worst people in our leagues.
Top-5 Fantasy Draft Faux Pas
5- Drafting kickers before round 14 (Hey, the Bucs called. They agree.)
4-Yelling “Ugh! I was just about to draft him!” (Oh, you were about to draft the next best player available? I’m SHOCKED!)
3-Reaching on a pick then claiming he’s ‘due for a big year’ (Just curious- who’s your inside source? ESPN? SI? Local bartender who ‘knows a guy?’)
2-Forgetting to bring league dues to the draft (guilty-guilty-guilty-guilty-guilty-guilty-guilty)
1-Swearing you’re not a homer, then drafting only Ravens while avoiding Steelers (we all know that one guy)