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McSorley Shines Against Eagles

Trace McSorley runs with the football
Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens
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On a night where Trace McSorley was electric, the Ravens game was cancelled due to lightning. Even though the game was cut short, there are still takes to be had, and if you’re looking for takes, this is the article for you! There was honestly a lot more ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ than ‘good’, but as long as there is a game played, this article will follow. Let’s take a look at what went right, and what went wrong for the Ravens against the Eagles on Thursday night. This time around, I’ll only be pointing out a specific player for one category, and let’s be honest, we all already know who it is.

Marquise Brown catches a ball on the sideline against the Eagles.
Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens

The Good.

The Ravens wideouts went ahead and had themselves a solid game as a group, from Chris Moore holding onto his 100% catch percentage through three weeks, Jaleel Scott reinforcing the fact that he’s learned how to use his big body and bigger catch radius, to roster long-shot Jaylen Smith getting in on the fun and reeling one in.

You guys didn’t think I’d forget about Marquise Brown, did you? The Ravens’ 2019 first round pick finally saw the field on Thursday, quelling the insecurities that Ravens fans still have from one Breshad Perriman. He didn’t contribute a whole lot, posting just three catches for 17 yards, but I have to tell you, for all my hesitance with drafting him… he showed what he could be in a short time. Whether it was snatching a short pass out of the air at the high point with his hands (not a body catch; that’s important) or running sharp routes, the Ravens wanted to get the ball in his hands early, and let him run really fast.

And boy can that boy move.

Watch this play. The sudden acceleration in the middle of the route is going to make it nearly impossible for defensive backs to cover Brown – I’m not sure he was at full speed, even on this route.

You have to think that the top five wideouts on the roster are as follows – Moore, Snead, Brown, Boykin, and Scott. 

As for the rest of them? Michael Floyd made the most of his increased snaps, leading the wide receiver group with three catches for 54 yards and a score. I don’t think he’s cemented his spot on the roster yet, but he’s certainly going to make it a difficult decision on cut-down day. Miles Boykin continues to be annoying to evaluate, one second casually grabbing a 44-yard ball, the next, dropping an easy pass. He’s making this team, but his college 4.8% drop rate isn’t translating to the NFL – yet. 

All-in-all, the WR corps looks better than I thought it would, but also not great just yet. Do the Ravens need them to be great? No. They need to be above average, and with a bunch of rookies and late round guys, that’s probably what they’ll get.

Boyd shakes off tackles by Canady and Carr.
Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

The Bad.

Can I talk about the nickel cornerback spot some more? Because I want to talk about it. Brandon Carr started the night off in the slot, and he held up well. Cyrus Jones followed that up with improved-but-not-great play, and the Ravens rounded out the night with Anthony Averett in the position. It’s making me lower my expectations for the cornerbacks, because they’re likely going to have to use Carr inside, and that means they lose some of what he can do in the red zone.

Does this mean I’m punting on the idea that the group can be elite? Yes. Does it mean I don’t think they can be very good? No. I just expect a drop-off from the slot position, thanks to the unfortunate injury to Tavon Young.

But let’s talk about outside corner depth. If Maurice Canady makes this team, we riot. He was.. woof. From being burned, to completely whiffing on tackles, Canady made his case as to why he should be cut immediately. Stanley Jean-Baptiste got burned on a 20-yard JJAW score, which is… awesome. Bennett Jackson took a solid 14 steps back from what we’ve seen from him earlier in the preseason. 

Yes, Josh McCown has been in the league longer than anybody on the Ravens roster, so he should absolutely be carving up 3rd and 4th string defensive backs. Regardless, I can’t help but think that maybe this group can only sustain maybe one more injury. The backups simply weren’t good on Thursday night. Worse than I expected them to be, at the least, DB bias or not.

Marlon Humphrey? Dat boi gud. 

The Ugly.

Can we please have a moment of silence for the understanding of what a tackle is? 

Bow your heads.

Aaaaand we’re back.

Why the hell was DeShon Elliott flagged? What did the referees see? I understand that it’s the preseason for the refs as well, but if they don’t get this cleaned up, it’s going to be a very long, very unwatchable season.

The Ravens weren’t as bad as the Eagles, but still racked up 327 penalties for 8,764 yards (it seemed like). Undisciplined football is bad football. Preseason football is ugly football. Undisciplined preseason football is just stupidity. And I hate stupidity.

Find the bright side, they say…

Matt Judon didn’t have any penalties. That’s a thing.

The Mckayla Maroney.

I still have a couple of weeks to play around with the featured celebrity in this article, so I’m taking advantage of it. This week is Olympic gymnast Mckayla Maroney, whose smirk took over the internet awhile back – turns out she’s a bit of a looker. 

Speaking of lookers, let’s look at the winner of this prestigious award this week. That’s right. I’m talking about none other than Penn State legend, Trace McSorley. 

After two weeks where he was less than stellar, the 6th round quarterback had himself a game, going 19-for-28, 203 yards, and a couple of scores while also taking care of the football. He showed off his athletic ability as well, tacking on four runs for six yards, which wouldn’t be impressive if he didn’t add a score. He had a beautiful back shoulder pass to Jaleel Scott that resulted in a score. He showed better poise when he had a pocket, and more intelligence in his movement when he didn’t. His throws were… less off-target? That’s a positive, I think. He was victimized by a couple of drops, and the backup offensive line did him no favors (RJ Prince is really bad), but he made the most of his extended playing time.

I’m not one of those people that say Trace should start over Lamar Jackson (translation: I’m not an idiot.) However, if he can duplicate this kind of play over the next couple of weeks and show he’s turned a corner, is there an argument that he should be QB2, and the Ravens could move on from Bob? I’m leaning towards no, but that’s probably because he was miserable in practice all week. I’d say the possibility is open, but it wouldn’t surprise me either way. 

That’s it for this week, folks. Whether you agree, disagree, or just want to talk Ravens, come find me on Twitter @ChibsRSR.

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