RAVENS 23 49ERS 3: 5 Good, 5 Bad Takeaways

Joe Flacco and Bernard Pierce, 49ers at Ravens, August 7, 2014 (Photo Credit: Nick Wass, AP)

Teams build foundations during OTA’s, take playbooks to the field during training camp and then increase the tempo and physicality during “fake football” games.

It is then that things begin to change for some – when the threat of contact is introduced to the competitive environment.

As a result mistakes will be made and hopefully lessons learned – fertile grounds in the development process.

Here are 5 takeaways, both plus and minus, from last night’s preseason game between the Ravens and 49ers…


1. First-team Offense: Joe Flacco was precise in all phases operating behind an offensive front that controlled the line of scrimmage both in pass pro and in the running game.

2. Purposeful RB’s: Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro all attacked the line of scrimmage while wasting little energy. Efficiency comes to mind.

3. Right Tackle: A big question mark heading into the offseason, Ricky Wagner has been solid throughout camp and was again against the 49ers. At this point, although it’s still early, if forced to choose between Michael Oher (assuming he was still a Raven) and Wagner up to this point in the preseason, my marker is placed firmly on the former Wisconsin Badger.

4. Justin Tucker: Simply the best kicker in the NFL and the feeling here is he’ll only get better.

5. Kubiak Factor: The pace and precision are all noticeable as is his involvement on the sidelines, something that will play a big role as the season unfolds.


1. Defensive Front: The 49ers manhandled the Ravens front 7 during the very first possession, the only one featuring Colin Kaepernick. It was hard to deny the flashbacks to the near Super Bowl XLVII collapse.

2. Pass Rush: Concerns about the team generating a pass rush without the benefit of blitzing linger.

3. Hurst: The UDFA from North Carolina looked slow and the thought of him filling in for Eugene Monroe is nightmarish. There’s a reason he was undrafted.

4. Chykie: He may as well have a bullseye on his pack and his “handsy” style of play will draw more flags than the League of Nations. Asa Jackson is simply a better player. Hopefully Ozzie Newsome is working the phones and inquiring about decent reserve corners.

5. Fumblitis: The Ravens running backs have to protect the football. This could be the result of the first real contact this summer but expect Tom Hammock to force his stable of backs to run through several strip drills during the days ahead.



• Judging from his first professional action CJ Mosley is the real deal.
• As promised by Gary Kubiak, the Ravens will run most offensive plays with their quarterback under center.
Kyle Juszczyk is going to be a force this season. He was solid as a lead blocker and arguably has the best hands on the team.
• Kick coverage needs work.
Tyrod Taylor is still just a college quarterback. He makes one read, locks in on it and when the play isn’t there he’s off to the races. He’s an excellent athlete, just not a NFL quarterback.

Who was last night's player of the game?
Joe Flacco (19%)
CJ Mosley (45%)
Justin Tucker (19%)
Asa Jackson (17%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

19 Raves on “RAVENS 23 49ERS 3: 5 Good, 5 Bad Takeaways

  1. PG County Ravens on said:

    TL: pretty darn accurate!!! Defensively: there are concerns with stopping the run and getting to the QB along with cornerback issues. Offensively, OLine depth and backup QB. We’re a long way from being a stout defense!

  2. Big Herb on said:

    Tony, you are spot on. My concern is with Tyrod. We cannot win a regular season game if Joe goes down with him under center. We need a vet who can win a game with his arm.

  3. JerryB on said:

    Agree on all points! Also, refreshing to see Flacco conversing with Kubiak as soon as he came off the field, something rarely seen with past OCs! Taliaferro very impressive as was Asa Jackson. Only one exhibition game, but saw more good than bad. Hope springs eternal………

  4. ERey on said:

    Sounds pretty spot on to me. CJ Mosely can run. If he doesn’t make that tackle chasing the running back around the end in the 1st half it’s a TD.

    I’d like to see them give Wenning more playing time. Not sold on Tyrod either.

  5. Tommy Onorato on said:

    The first team D-Line wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Brandon Williams and Nagta had a great push it was Canty who looked horrible. Also Bynes filled the wrong lanes. With D.Smith not playing why was it Bynes and McClellan and not Brown next to Mosley?

    • Tim on said:

      On the first play from scrimmage Haloti got manhandled to about 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage by Iupati. The run went right through the hole where there should have been Ngata, but there was only nada.

  6. John P on said:

    Spot on with Tyrod. He provides an exciting flash, but he’s terribly easy to game-plan against. It’s time to move on, because we can’t win with that guy.

  7. Matt R on said:

    Suggs’ ability to seal the edge has been declining over the last year. It showed last night. I’m hoping it’s just him being antsy in his first live action of the season. Another person I noticed last night was how freaking huge Brandon Williams is. Can’t wait to see him more this year.

  8. Rob on said:

    Mr. Teal Shirt, this was excellent, succinct, spot on Ravens journalism. This is the kind of stuff I want to read. Well done.

  9. Your English Teacher on said:

    I too was surprised that Wenning only got to hand off and kneel down a couple of times at the end. That says to me that the Ravens have already decided to keep Taylor, and to either try to stash Wenning on the practice squad or have him suffer a season-ending injury, perhaps while tying his shoes.

    If, as a coach, you thought that there was any chance that Wenning would play this year, you’d have put him out there for a quarter or so.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Y.E.T., you may be on to something with Wenning. I guess the next game will tell but I don’t think it means that Taylor is a lock. I would not be surprised if Kubiak has his eyes on another QB already familiar with his system who is now on another team’s roster.

  10. PSUOrioles on said:

    My concern is the health of Webb. I’m a big fan of him and he is a difference maker, but he seems to be hurt all the time. The Ravens need him to be healthy and play every game.

  11. Nancy on said:

    Happy to see Wagner begin to make a name for himself. I saw his potential last year but was given lots of grief from the no it alls!! Here is another prediction, Jernigan is the real deal.

  12. Jack on said:

    How about mentioning on first drive 49ers had 7 starters on the bench? Willis, Bowman, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Ray Mcdonald to just name a few. I get the need for enthusiasm but even the Ravens stated slow down the Niners had their 2nd team playing.

    • MrReasonable on said:

      Uhhh … Jack,
      It’s a easy comment to make, but it’s really not true. The lineup we saw last night for San Fran may be closer to opening day than you think. Bowman won’t be back until late in the season if at all. Aldon Smith is headed for a lengthy suspension. Ray McDonald is coming off of major surgery on his biceps and is slow to recover. Glenn Dorsey is out for the season with … wait for it … a torn bicep (hmmm, sounds like a team out west is passing around roids). Oh, and by the way, isn’t Justin Smith the guy who got pushed around by a healthy K.O. in the biggest game of 2012? Just saying.

  13. The Truth on said:

    I’m glad to see that one media voice has the guts to say the truth about Tyrod.
    He couldn’t lead an offense with a police escort, and these announcers keep lying through their teeth about the guy because they are afraid to be called racist and lose their job.
    I don’t care if he was white as the driven snow, he sucks at the NFL level, and that is the truth.

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