RAVENS v. FALCONS: The Best & Worst Performances



Ricky Wagner

After a very strong week one performance, surrendering zero QB pressures, Wagner received significant playing time in his second game. While the rest of the offensive line played sloppy, holding the team back, Wagner did anything but. Throughout the entire second half, Wagner was quick off of the line of scrimmage, completely shutting down the pass rush on the left side.

Before the draft, his overall quickness and flexibility were highly questioned, but Andy Moeller and Juan Castillo have done a great job accentuating his strengths and masking his deficiencies. If Wagner can put on some weight and drive better while run blocking, he could be a serious candidate for the Ravens’ left tackle of the future.

Asa Jackson

Proving that his week one dominance was not a fluke, Asa Jackson once again displayed the talent that makes him such an intriguing player. While the Falcons quarterbacks routinely threw in Jackson’s direction, he was consistently in good position to make plays on the ball. He has the quick feet and loose hips that make Lardarius Webb such a threat, and plays with a physicality that the Ravens look for. He showed a great knack for driving on receivers running short routes, delivering two of the biggest hits of the game, nearly knocking the ball loose on both plays. Still, Jackson comes with baggage, and the Ravens have to decide if he is worth the headache.

Arthur Brown

While Brown continues to battle Josh Bynes for the weak-side linebacker position, his play during both pre season games has been outstanding. In the nickel package, Brown has carried tight ends and slot receivers up the seam with ease, showing his natural coverage skills. Against the Falcons, however, Brown also had a significant opportunity to play in the base defense as well. And as expected, he was a complete force, taking on blocks and filling gaps to stuff the run. While Bynes struggled to make a play when unblocked, Brown was all over the field, making his presence felt. Within the coming weeks, expect Brown to jump Bynes on the depth chart, he’s that good.


AQ Shipley

While competition can be a good thing, Shipley has struggled terribly in both pre-season games, so this competition needs to end quickly. All game, Shipley was beaten off the snap, making life for Ray Rice very difficult. He seemed very frustrated with his inability to get any push off the line despite having great strength and lower body power. Shipley doesn’t have much physical talent, so he has to win with technique and positioning, but those were arguably the two biggest weaknesses on display last night . While Gradkowski had some minor mental mistakes, he is clearly the better option with more upside.

Michael Huff

Although Huff has impressed throughout training camp, he played well below his standards against the Falcons. His missed a tackle on Steven Jackson, allowing a first down, was poor but his coverage was even worse. On the touchdown to Julio Jones, Huff left his deep half to drive the out-route, leaving Jimmy Smith on an island. This would normally be acceptable in other coverages, but Smith was playing Jones’ outside hip because he assumed Huff had inside help. So, when Huff left his zone, Jones had a wide-open area to attack. This wasn’t Huff’s only coverage blunder, however, as he took poor angles throughout the game. While Huff may go on to have a great season, this is certainly a performance to forget.

Tandon Doss

Doss has been really unimpressive in the first two pre season games, but especially struggled against the Falcons. When the ball goes his way, he has been very timid and doesn’t seem to have that Boldin-esque mentality. When the ball doesn’t go his way, lazy routes and lack of physicality at the line of scrimmage have become the norm for Doss. If Doss and Flacco haven’t developed a solid rapport by now, it might be time to move on to other options at slot receiver.

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About Scott Fink

Scott Fink
Scott Fink is a football crazed, recent graduate of St. Paul’s school and current student at Syracuse University. At St. Paul’s, Scott found his passion for football while debating with his friends about every small detail of the games on Sunday. As these daily debates continued, Scott made the jump...more

29 Raves on “RAVENS v. FALCONS: The Best & Worst Performances

    • Jacoby jones on said:

      because it was a communication issue with Jimmy and Huff. Go back and look at that play huff left his zone and left jimmy by himself. that why huff is on here and not jimmy. its easy to pick on jimmy but its a team sport not just all on jimmy.

      • LOL on said:

        So all five of those completions to Julio on that one drive where Ryan absolutely picked on and victimized Jimmy, those were all Huff’s fault, hey? Good to know, good to know.

        • Justin on said:

          Half of them were Huff. It depends. Just because Jimmy is showing man doesn’t mean he’s actually in man. The only really bad play Jimmy had was on the fade not against Julio, it was a really nice throw, and the fade is tough to defend but Jimmy has trouble tracking the ball.

          Generally speaking when Jimmy was in Coverage the coverage was solid. Some of the coverage was meant to force the coverage into Huff. And Huff just left the area instead of breaking on the ball. It’s like the coverage was made to force Jones into the safeties and the safeties bailed on the coverage. But his play didn’t inspire confidence certainly.

  1. Suffolk VA Fan on said:

    I was at the Ravens practice on 10 August at the Castle. Tandon Doss had a number of drops and looked tentative going across the middle. He pulled up on seam route down the middle resulting in an interception.

  2. FLACCOFOREVER on said:


  3. James on said:

    In all honesty, I believe Asa Jackson is a much better corner than Jimmy Smith. He maybe smaller but plays much bigger and has one important intangible, awareness. This isn’t a new thing, remember last year in the preseason ASA showed his value by returning a special teams return for a TD. Harbs may not like his attitude, but the kid can play.

    • paulie on said:

      I like Asa Jackson and hope his ‘troubles’ are now behind him. There should be a place on the 53 for him, but he has nowhere near the tools that Jimmy Smith brings to the game. Maybe someday Smith will get over biting on every double move he sees. Don’t know if that is teachable, but until he sorts it out he’ll continue to be toasted regularly.

  4. Big C on said:

    The whole team looked awful, but Doss, Jimmy Smith, Mike Huff, Ngata and A.Q. Shipley looked terrible. Doss is just wack, he should be thankfull he’s been on the team the past 2 years. Jimmy Smith sucks until the post-season. Huff was just lost out there. Ngata was just standing there doing nothing. Shipley was coming off ball so slow it looked like he was reaching for a cheeseburger. Dreadful, just dreadful. Even LaQuan screwed up a route and got Tyrod to throw a pick.

    I wonder why our passing game can look so garbage sometimes. I mean just by the nature of the offense you have to be able to create completions and get people in space. We’re just running go’s and stops. Where are the post-dig combos? Also Vis-whatever the hell Shiancoe is starting to get on my nerves. Make the f***ing team before you start with that B.S./ the TE position looked awful. They been reading too many press clippings and giving interviews… They needed that ass-whipping last night…

  5. Big C on said:

    Oh and I forgot Jah Reid… I don’t know if any of you have ever seen the rapper Ghostface Killah’s top 10 softest rappers in the game. Well Jah would be on the NFL top 10 softest linemen list, like in the top 3. He is such a [little cat] it’s ridiculous. He’s one of the biggest people in the NFL and they keep trotting him out there and he keeps NOT BLOCKING ANYONE. When you can’t run the ball you look IMMEDIATELY TO THE CENTER AND 2 GUARDS. Period. And you combine Jah blocking like a pillow fight and Shipley not coming off the ball and you end up with one of the best runners in football looking awful. He has ZERO fight and/or dog in him… and lineman have to have that. He looks like he should work in a beauty salon braiding hair. What a waste of space…

  6. Joe Raven on said:

    I liked what I saw in Arthur Brown. And Smith played great. It wasn’t that long ago that we were worried about middle linebacker. This front 7 is going to be very goood (1st and 2nd teams).
    I think it is safe to say that Jimmy Smith will never live up to his draft hype. But in the pass-happy NFL, we need plenty of decent CB’s but he will not be the shut-down corner we expected.
    Doss should be cut. I like Sandusky and crew but to be happy that Doss’ drop wasn’t a fumble missed the point. Who cares about the score! We need someone that can catch the ball and that was a catch a NFL receiver makes. This guy is playing for his career and he dropped the pass – so typical of Doss.
    It looks like Fursterburger won’t make the team but, other than Smith, he looked like the only guy last night that could consistently catch a ball. Unless some step-up next week, we are going to be carrying several receivers that were the least worst of the bunch.
    Willams, the young NT, looks like he has some long-term promise. And so does Simon.
    The play of the game for me was Ryan’s last when he fell to the ground with Canty coming straight at him. I don’t know if Ryan felt the pressure from behind that almost got him but I loved the play. He looked scared and is probably glad to not have the ravens on the schedule this season.

  7. JayJay on said:

    I think Aaron Mellette has looked very good so far and has produced in limited opportunities. I’m not around for the practices but I’d like to see him get some opportunities with the 1st team. I know he’s a rookie 7th rd pick from a small school but Marques Colston was a 7th rd pick from Hofstra in 2006 and had 70 catches for over 1,000 yards and 8 TDs as a rookie. I’m not saying Mellette will be as good as Colston but I haven’t seen any better options so far.

  8. spy on said:

    Furstenburg should make this squad , he has the best hands other then Smith and Pitta , on this team,,,,,,,,,,,,don’t know much about his blocking ability but the other aren’t very good so he must be better than them,,,,,,,I can’t believe how much our TE’s get pushed around,,,,,,,,it is a really weak positioon this year and should go a long way for Joe having a poor year throwing the ball…………it may be a long year……..I think Harbaugh misses his ‘on field’ coaches already…………

  9. Voice of Reason on said:

    Was Vishante left off the worst list simply because it’s assumed that he’s gone now and he doesn’t even merit any more journalistic attention? I also think that Asa has pretty much made all of the case that he needs to be on this team, despite his suspension. He’s probably playing at a level that would make him a top 5 player on this team, let alone top 53. I just hope that he doesn’t atrophy in two months.

  10. EJ on said:

    1 – Doss, Jimmy Smith, Shank – Thanks for your contributions but,..y’all gotta go.

    2 – Flacco, start being a leader on the field. Command the team. You now make more than Tom Brady does and he is getting it done with a lot less this ‘Preseason’. The “It’s Preseason” card is played out.

    3 – Baltimore Front Office please don’t wait until week 8 to realize that we should have started Aaron Mellette and Matt Furstenburg. They have earned the right to run with the first team.

    4 – Huff, you are playing ‘real suspect’ right now.

    5 – Everybody else is going to get better as the season goes along.

    • LOL on said:

      1 – Doss ain’t going nowhere.

      2 – Joe doesn’t make more than Brady. He has a bigger contract. Not the same. Brady’s making like 60 million bucks guaranteed over the next two seasons. That’s after the “paycut.” LOL. And it IS preseason, that’s not a card. That’s just what it is.

      3 – That would be Coach Harbaugh, not the FO.

      4, 5 – No argument here.

  11. Get it done! on said:

    Yeah, mellette and furstenberg need to run with the starters next game to see how the chemistry will play out, flacco needed to work on making an effort of getting the ball to stokely. I really wanna see how stokely and Clark play out for us. Hopefully it ends up being Webb and graham as the cb duo. I think Elam and ihedigbo make the best safety tandem, time puff puff and pass on huff. Gino looks like the starting center. Rice needs to get utilized in more passing situations.

  12. Get it done! on said:

    Yeah, mellette and furstenberg need to run with the starters next game to see how the chemistry will play out, flacco needed to work on making an effort of getting the ball to stokely. I really wanna see how stokely and Clark play out for us. Hopefully it ends up being Webb and graham as the cb duo. I think Elam and ihedigbo make the best safety tandem, time puff puff and pass on huff. Gino looks like the starting center.

  13. rocky m on said:

    i understand the special teams ramifications,but,berry and alllen are very pedestrian back-ups…berry and allen are both straight line runners and if there isn`t a big hole right off the bat,are going nowhere…berry`s proven he has hands like skillets and i`m pretty sure allen`s aren`t much better..if they aren`t going to give rainey a chance(he obviously has talent,can catch the ball out of the backfield and has return value)let the guy go…he can play in this league….he has ray rice-like skills and would be the perfect third option allowing the ravens to keep the ray rice-style offensive schemes in place…

    i`ve been watching allen and berry for going on 3 years and i rue the day they might actually have tio play in a regular season game…if allen is so valuable on special teams,and rainey just isn`t in their plans,let him go…i think somewhere else,the kid could actually play well..

  14. Jonny f on said:

    very astute article Scott. Worried though about Harbs flexing muscle now that Ed and Ray are gone. He doesn’t have the background to demand that respect. Watch for that to rear its ugly head during the season.

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