Takeaways From The Ravens Third Preseason Game

Sports and Bets — August 31, 2015 at 9:03 pm by

What a mixed bag of emotions this game turned out to be. The Ravens went from looking dominant in the first 18-20 minutes, to looking like shit the rest of the way. For the record, I stop reviewing the game film around the five minute mark of the second quarter; because, quite frankly, if Matt Schaub is ever quarterbacking the Ravens, I’ll be switching my focus to fantasy football, because the Ravens’ season will be done.

To start, I love John Harbaugh, but I didn’t see the need for him to be a complete fucking dick to Brent Harris at the half. It was completely unprofessional of him to show up a local reporter who was simply asking him the most relevant question of the half.. That is something I can see his dickhead brother doing, but certainly didn’t see it coming from John.

jharbaugh

Turning to the game, I have to start with Steve Smith. The old guy looked pretty damn spry in the first quarter where he ate up the Skins secondary for nearly 100 yards and a TD. Not only was his 60 plus yard td catch and run impressive, but the play he made out of the slot on a third and eight to convert the first down was ridiculous. He caught a short in, made a linebacker miss, and turned the corner to get to the sticks- all while looking closer to 26 then 36. It’s wishful thinking, but the Ravens need this playmaking to continue.

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I’m far from being sold on Buck Allen, and not just because of his awful fumble on the goal line. Allen looks indecisive on his cuts, and he’s not exploding through the holes. It’s like he’s too careful with the football in his hands, and I’m not talking about ball security. I was much more impressed with Terrance McGee, as he plows through the holes with reckless abandon. Somebody needs to win this job next week in Atlanta.

When your 6’4″ wide receiver is being covered by a 5’10” corner, your receiver needs to come down with the football. That wasn’t the case when Marlon Brown got outplayed on a deep pass by Deanglo Hall. Marlon seemed to mistime his leap, therefore he wasn’t able to high point the football on a very adequately thrown Flacco deep ball.
Marlon is gonna have every opportunity to make plays while Perriman is out, it will be interesting to see if he is able to capitalize.

Crockett Gilmore morphed into full beast mode on that touchdown catch and run that was negated by a phantom offensive pass interference call on the opposite side of the field. I’m really liking this group of tight ends, as they collectively can do it all. Watch out for Gilmore as a high upside tight end 2 for all you fantasy buffs out there. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman will take full advantage of his stable of tight ends, as Martellus Bennett caught 90 balls for Trestman last year.

I’m really liking what I see out of Kamar Aiken. He has the makeup of a solid intermediate possession receiver that is fearless working the middle of the field. With Dennis Pitta out, Flacco needs a security blanket that he trust on third down to move the sticks. Aiken is rapidly developing into that role. He also displayed great footwork on the sideline, making a first down catch with a defender draped over his back. On a side note, the fact that no penalty was called on Keenan Robinson for pile driving Aiken head first into the turf was atrocious. In fact the majority of the officiating was atrocious, especially the lackadaisical spot by the side judge on Terrance McGee’s run that should have easily moved the chains. C’mon zebras, get it the fuck together!

Two quick notes on special teams. Asa Jackson flashes big plays, but I really feel he is too inconsistent to be trusted. Maybe returning kickoffs he is fine because there is much less pressure, but I don’t trust him on punts. Campanaro would be fine on punts, except that he is so fucking fragile that he most certainly would get hurt doing it. The return guy might not yet be on our roster. Also, the player that has showed me the most on kick coverage is Brynden Trawick. He is constantly making tackles on coverage and deserves a roster spot.

Switching over to the defensive side, I feel pretty good about our first team defense. I feel much better after hearing that Timmy Jernigan is gonna be okay with just a minor knee injury. He’s a guy we can’t afford to lose up front. I like what I’m seeing from Carl Davis so far in his extended playing time. He’s learning on the fly, because he’s going to be counted on as an integral part of this defensive line rotation.

tj

I was a little worried to see Chris Canty get pushed off the ball on the five yard run Alfred Morris had where he was able to push the pile for extra yards. Canty needs to hold his ground at the point of attack to cause a pile, and stop the backs momentum. He didn’t there, and what should have been a three yard run turns into five- and that shit adds up. I’m sure it’s hard to always play low when your as tall as Canty, but he needs to execute.

Upshaw made a nice tackle for loss on Morris where he came free. So many times you see a back be able to slip that unblocked defensive player, but Upshaw did a great job making the play in space.

The Ravens need to find more interior pass rush on third down. Without that push inside, it makes things that much harder on Suggs and Dumervil to do their thing. Za’Darius Smith is another player learning on the fly because he is being counted on to provide that interior rush.

What a savvy play by Suggs to pick off that swing pass. Those are the types of plays that separate him from other great pass rushers, as he is constantly disrupting the screen game to his side of the field. I think it’s one of the major reasons Suggs will find himself in the Hall of Fame someday.

While Steve Smith is playing at an elite level in his golden years on offense, the same can be said for Daryl Smith on defense. What an invaluable addition he had been the last few years at inside linebacker. I loved how he was able to chase down a screen pass from behind, preventing a first down run. He is all over the field making tackles, plugging up running lanes, and providing a quiet leadership that permeates through the defense.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees is really using safeties Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis interchangeably. I was impressed how natural and effective Lewis was playing down in the box. He can fill a hole and finish a tackle like a weak side linebacker. That will prove very valuable on early downs, and allow the Ravens to be creative in their run fits. Speaking of safeties, it was nice to see Terrance Brooks back on the field. With Matt Elam out, the Ravens are counting on Brooks to contribute in sub packages.

It was a great short yardage stop on fourth down but they 100 percent sold out on run. I guarantee Peyton Manning will see that on film and have a play action pass in the queue week one. Will Hill looked great blitzing the C gap and bottling up that run, but any kind of play action there and the Skins would have walked in for a touchdown.

All in all I still feel good about this team. I fully expect them to get a win in Denver, and I see big things for this offense. Time to tighten everything up and attack this tough first half schedule.

cover pic: fantasycpr

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