Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Roll Rams, 33-7

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The Ravens improved to 2-0 this preseason with a 33-7 stomping of the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. RSR staff react to what we saw here…

Todd Karpovich

Joe Flacco‘s impressive training camp carried over to his first live action, leading a 70-yard scoring drive in his lone series. Flacco capped the series with a 6-yard pass to Patrick Ricard. He also hit Michael Crabtree on a crossing route. Flacco finished with a passer rating of 143.5, going 5 of 7 for 71 yards and the touchdown. The veteran quarterback is poised to have his best year as a pro.

— Rookie Lamar Jackson electrified the crowd with a 9-yard scoring run where he completely destroyed a pair of defenders. Jackson did benefit from playing behind the starting offensive line.

Matt Judon looks like he is ready to boost the pass rush this season. He had a key sack on a 3rd and 10 and is showing a strong motor. Tim Williams also showed promise and picked up an impressive sack.

— Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale is aggressive with his play-calling with four- and five-man fronts. He has the youth and talent on the defense to keep pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

— Running back Gus Edwards is a powerful runner and is making a strong case to make the final roster. He had an impressive 25-yard run.

Breshad Perriman didn’t take a snap until the second half. This does not bode well for his chances to make the team. However, he was effective when he got on the field with three receptions for 71 yards and an impressive 32-yard leaping grab in the end zone.

Chad Racine

Very impressive first drives from both Flacco and Jackson. Ravens fans are not used to hot starts in recent years. All signs so far point to a significantly improved offense, specifically the passing game.

Tim Williams is showing why he was considered such a steal in the third round of the draft last year. Zach Sieler is doing what he can to make good on his promise to Ozzie as his final draft pick. The defensive depth overall is quite impressive. Plenty of reasons to be excited about this season.

Derek Arnold

While keeping in mind that the Rams didn’t play many (any?) of their starters…

1. Hey, nobody got hurt again! That’s the main point, whether the Rams were playing their starters, backups, or towel boys.

2. Great seeing Flacco move, extend plays, and hit his targets. The opening drive was quite impressive.

3. Jackson showed Ravens fans a glimpse of what he can do with his electrifying touchdown scramble. Behind the starting OL and with some real receivers, he looked much better this week. Chris Moore made an incredible catch for him down the left seam, and he got lucky he wasn’t intercepted on a 3rd-and-20 play backed up into his own end zone. That’s a no-no, rook.

4. Tim Williams was a beast, and Maruice Canady bounced back from an iffy HoF Game with an athletic interception.

Carey Stevenson

On the first snap of the game the offense came out in 11 personnel, with the trio of Crabtree, Brown and Snead at WR, Hurst at TE with Collins in the backfield. The play resulted in a 11-yard strike to Hurst. It wasn’t this grand play design or anything, just jarring the upgrade in talent for this offense compared to last year.

Joe Flacco did nothing to dissuade my thoughts that he will have a strong year. He moved well and threw the ball on time and accurate.

RG3 did the same…he’s going to make the final 53, right?

Young defenders like Bronson Kaufusi and Tim Williams made their mark and give Wink Martindale some interesting toys to tinker with.

Lamar Jackson made NFL open field defenders grasp at air much like he did in college. Behind the starting OL minus Marshall Yanda, Jackson showed off his trademark poise and pocket movement. He missed a couple opportunities vs the blitz to get the ball out quickly. He also sailed a couple throws. There were also a couple drops that all in all led to his uneven passing numbers. I remain impressed with where he is.

Brandon Portney

Both of the first team units looked great and it was encouraging to see, albeit against the Rams second team units. Flacco looked good and finished his only drive with a touchdown to Ricard.

Lamar Jackson made some plays both throwing and running the ball, and juked his way in to the end zone. He definitely took a step in the right direction, but was still only 7/18 passing. How he progresses over the next three games will go a long way in determining whether or not RGIII, who played well for a second straight game, makes the final roster.

The offensive line looked better, particularly in the run game. Alex Collins had a big run, and Gus Edwards continues to impress me. He seems to be the UDFA that could make this team.

How about Perriman? Three receptions for 71 and a long TD. I won’t get excited. I’ve learned it’s a bad idea. But he looked good last night. Now he needs to stack games. With guys like Jaleel Scott struggling last night, the opportunity is there.

The defense showed that they have great depth across the board. They held Rams QB Sean Mannion to 3/16 for 16 yards.

Some guys that showed out defensively were Tim Williams, DeShon Elliott and Kenny Young, who looks to be carving out a role for himself.

Mitchell Wolfman

John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens has to be the greatest preseason dynasty team of all time. They just don’t lose!

But for real, the Ravens looked very impressive in their win against the Rams last night. The Ravens starters only played a couple of drives against the Rams second team unit, and man were they dominant on both sides of the ball. I know, they were playing a bunch of scrubs who may rarely see the field. But with that said, we would be cringing if the Ravens played poorly against what was pretty much all bench players. They needed to look good and they did.

I’ve been pleased to notice the positive trend in Lamar Jackson’s development. Last week we saw a rookie who played okay but seemed overwhelmed at times, especially by the speed of NFL defenders. But last night Jackson shook off those nerves and delivered a much more composed performance with better decision making. I was happy to him stay in the pocket and go through his progressions more instead of scrambling by first instinct. Jackson also showed off his sense of awareness during a two-minute drill before the half where he quickly spiked the ball on second down to waste little clock time. Small things like that indicate his maturity.

And WOW! That nine-yard TD run was nasty. His speed, ability to scramble when the pocket collapses, and that juke at the end…that play made me spit out my drink. This was a brief glimpse of the drastically new future of Baltimore Ravens offense. As a passer, Jackson also improved. He hit a beautiful long strike on his first throw where Chris Moore came down with a heck of a catch literally over the DB’s back. He also had a nice strike to Janarion Grant in coverage during his TD drive. However, Jackson isn’t completely there as a passer yet and a few of his throws signified that. He made on awful decision on third and long where he nearly had a pass picked off when targeting Mark Andrews. But one thing to consider is that the Ravens second team WRs have not showed up in back to back weeks and have really limited Jackson’s options. For example, Jackson made an accurate deep shot to Jordan Lasley, who was unable to fight off contact and make a play on what could have been an end zone-grab TD. So based on these circumstances and his need for more experience, I think fans should be happy with what they see from Jackson as well.

Players that caught my attention:

-HOW ABOUT JOE FLACCO? Fans got a taste of the Flacco comeback train last night, who seems to have made noticeable improvements in his technique. We saw him step up in the pocket, go through his full progressions and make a handful of accurate deep strikes to a variety of targets. This is stuff he didn’t do last season. You can already tell James Urban is working wonders on him.

-I’ll say it again, Hayden Hurst is going to be a fan favorite. Hurst made a strong catch on Flacco’s first throw and had a key second level block on Alex Collin’s long run. He’s going to he a huge piece in this offense.

-Really happy to see Flacco finally have a proper security blanket in Michael Crabtree, who made an impressive third down catch on a contested ball.

-Orlando Brown, Jr. looked solid once again and rarely allowed pressure throughout his many snaps.

-Very dominant outing for several Ravens pass rushers. Terrell Suggs, Matt Judon and Za’Darius Smith all showed off some nice moves. But the grand prize goes to Tim Williams, who used an athletic dip move and delivered a crushing strip sack. Two very solid preseason games for Williams.

-Maurice Canady almost allowed a TD last week but made up for it with a well-executed trap on an impressive leaping interception. To think that a guy of his caliber is only a reserve nickel CB in this secondary…

-Michael Pierce showed off his strength once again by using a bull rush to get into the backfield to allow T. Williams to earn a tackle for loss.

-Brent Urban was dominant on one drive where he made a swallowing run tackle and deflected a pass, all on back-to-back plays. He looks unblockable out there.

-Alvin Jones has made two nice special teams tackles in two preseason games. Expect Jerry Rosburg to advocate for Jones to make the roster, who might be a sneaky addition if he keeps it up.


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