The Ravens should be pretty familiar with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their first preseason game of 2019. The teams spent two days practicing together in Owings Mills with just one minor skirmish. However, the intensity will be ramped up at M&T Bank Stadium,
Here are five things to watch:
1. The revamped attack
Coach John Harbaugh did not disclose how many snaps quarterback Lamar Jackson might play. However, we will be able to see some glimpses of offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s new attack. With RG3 out with a hand injury, rookie Trace McSorley will be asked to execute the run-pass-option and zone-read. While Mark Ingram also might not get many carries, Kenneth Dixon is going to have to work his way onto the roster and has a big opportunity arrives against the Jaguars.
2. Battles on the o-line
Right guard Marshal Yanda will likely not play because he has missed practice time over the last week. As a result, the Ravens will have to adjust, which is just fine because Harbaugh wants to get an extended look at some players. James Hurst, Jermaine Eluemunor and rookie fourth-round pick Ben Powers are battling for the starting job at left guard. Hurst could shift to Yanda’s spot. Matt Skura has the inside track with starting at center, but Bradley Bozeman is also pushing for that spot. Harbaugh is emphasizing clean ball-handling and the exchange between center and quarterback.
3. The rookies
After a quiet start to training camp, rookie pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson has had a couple of solid practices. The Ravens will be watching closely how well he can pressure the quarterback. Nose tackle Daylon Mack is also pushing for playing time and will get a chance to flash.
On offense, first-round pick Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will likely not play as he gets up to speed after dealing with a foot injury. However, Miles Boykin will look to take his momentum from several exceptional practices into a game. Running back Justice Hill will also get an opportunity to show his game-breaking speed, and the Ravens will also watch how well he can block.
4. The final spot at receiver
The Ravens will wait until the final week of camp to determine whether they will keep five or six receivers. Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Seth Roberts, Brown and Boykin will likely take five spots. This means Jaleel Scott, a 2018 fourth-round pick, undrafted free agent Antoine Wesley and Michael Floyd are battling for that sixth position if it’s available. All three players have been solid in training camps but they will need to excel in the preseason games.
5. Secondary expectations
The Ravens should have one of the most talented secondaries in the league and this group will get a chance to show if they are ready to meet those expectations. Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson are two of the best safeties in the league. The Ravens are deep at cornerback with Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Tavon Young. The team could carry 12 defensive backs but is there room for Justin Bethal, Brynden Trawick and Cyrus Jones?