Babes: Thoughts and Takeaways From The Ravens’ First Preseason Game

Featured, Sports and Bets — August 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm by

by Babes

Football is back, Babes!  I couldn’t even curb my enthusiasm (as I know I need to about one preseason game) and overall the Ravens looked great last night.  Coach Kubiak looks like the savior himself, as the offense rolled up and down the field last night, most of the time with ease.
I saw more running lanes and open holes last night then I did all of last season.  The offensive line was aggressive, and they fired off the ball like they’ve been running this system for five years.

All the running backs looked great last night, but Bernard Pierce can be a star in this system.  He is the perfect one cut downhill runner for this scheme, and I wouldn’t put it past him to accomplish two things this year.  First, Sscure the starting job in the first two weeks, and, second, put up Arian Foster type numbers while doing it.  Ray Rice impressed me as well.  He looked like a totally different player without the extra weight.  The burst was back, and Rice ran hard and decisively.  It’s amazing what a few running holes will do for a running back’s complexion. I think when Ray returns he will be most effective as a change of pace/third down back, and they should keep him to about 12-15 touches a game. Fullback/H back Kyle Juszczyk looked great both blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield.    He is going to be a real weapon with his versatility in the play action game, that was evident in his reception last night for 17 yards on the opening drive.  Altogether, Juszczyk grabbed three balls for 28 yards.

Justin Forsett was probably the only down spot for the running backs with his lost fumble.  You can’t have that as a fringe vet looking to carve out a role, or even a roster spot for that matter.  Although he did post a solid 7-29 line last night.
The offensive line looked dominant.  They were routinely winning the line of scrimmage and blowing the Niner d-line back off the ball.  The protection was very solid amongst the first group, and the second unit looked good for the most part as well.  They were confused on a few blitzes, but that is to be expected at this stage of preseason.
Steve Smith looks awfully good in a Ravens uniform!  All I need to say there.  Dennis Pitta looked great on that throwback tight end screen.(That was a staple in my play book back in my high school coaching days- I’m just saying.)

Defensively, it was very alarming to watch Carlos Hyde run right through us on that first drive.  But the D put the brakes on in the red zone and that’s what matters.  I saw a lot of good things out of the defensive line as whole after that initial drive.

Brandon Williams made a great play down in the red zone on a third and short to stall that first drive.  He penetrated and looked very agile sliding over two gaps to stuff the back behind the line of scrimmage.
It was great to watch CJ Mosley grow up out there last night.  He made some mistakes, but he made some great plays too.  His pursuit angles on some of those early Hyde runs were off, but he adjusted. I’m glad Dean Pees left him out there so long last night.  That was a beautiful blitz on his sack of Blaine Gabbert.
Chykie Brown needs to be a special teamer only.  He has no clue out there right now.  He drew two penalties and showed zero ball skills.  He will be preyed on during the season if he has to cover anybody.  I think Asa Jackson clearly surpassed Brown on the depth chart last night.

Matt Elam was burned on that bootleg from Kaepernick early in the game.  But he redeemed himself with a great play later in the drive stringing out a run play, and making the tackle on the sideline for a one yard gain.

Pernell McPhee looked great on that inside pass rush where he drew the bullshit late hit call.  He will be an important situational piece for this defense with his pass rushing skills.

We all know Justin Tucker is the man.  He nailed a 55 yard field goal and made it look easy.  They need to get this kid signed term.

Overall, I was very happy with last night’s performance.  If they can run the ball even half as successfully as they did last night, this offense will be scary.

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