Ravens-Packers: 5 Things to Watch  Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens

Camp Notes Ravens-Packers: 5 Things to Watch 

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The intensity will be ramped up for the second preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium. The starters for the Packers and Ravens will see some action, so both teams can get some effective work. After this game, the Ravens will not play at home again until the regular-season opener Sept. 15 against the Cardinals. 

Here are five things to watch against Green Bay:

1. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers vs. the Ravens secondary/pass rush

John Harbaugh did not play his starters in the secondary in the first preseason game against the Jaguars, who also sat starting quarterback Nick Foles. That will not be the case in the second game. Rodgers and the rest of the starters on offense might play the entire first quarter. However, Ravens cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young and Anthony Averett missed practice time this week so their availability is uncertain. As a result, the Ravens depth will face an early test.

This will provide another opportunity for players like Bennett Jackson and Cyrus Jones to flash after playing so well in the preseason opener. The Ravens also want to see rookie Jaylon Ferguson make an impact with the pass rush. Matt Judon missed practice time this week, so Ferguson could get some extended reps. 

2. Ravens running back depth

Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill are locks for the final 53-man roster. However, Kenneth Dixon appears to be fighting an uphill battle to make the team. Dixon had four carries for 21 yards against the Jaguars. He arrived in camp in solid shape and has run hard in practice. That performance has to translate to the games. De’Lance Turner is also trying to show he can make an impact and ran for 29 yards on six carries against Jacksonville.

The Ravens might not even carry four running backs, but Dixon and Turner want to sway that decision.   

3. Battles on the offensive line

Marshal Yanda might not play after missing practice time this week. James Hurst could slide into his spot at right guard. The key battle is at left guard, where undrafted rookie Patrick Mekari has emerged as a potential starter. He played with the first team this week and could get the nod against the Packers over Jermaine Eluemunor, who is having an uneven camp. Fourth-round rookie Ben Powers also has an opportunity to show he can be a vital part of the line, but he’ll have to play better than he did against Jacksonville. 

4. Receivers fighting for jobs

Harbaugh has not decided whether the team will carry five or six receivers. Jaleel Scott is one of the players trying to play his way onto the final 53 after missing all of his rookie season with a hamstring injury. Antoine Wesley has played well throughout training camp but the roster numbers do not work in his favor. Michael Floyd is another player that has potential, but he still needs to separate himself from the rest of the pack. This is an important game for all three players. 

5. Lamar Jackson

Jackson was sharp in the opener against the Jaguars,  going 4 for 6 for 59 yards and a touchdown (138.2 passer rating). He also showed more poise and command in the huddle. Jackson must take the next step in his development against the starters for the Packers. The Ravens likely won’t unveil many elements of their new offense, but Jackson’s accuracy on intermediate and long passes will be scrutinized. This will be another challenging test for the second-year quarterback. 

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich
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