Baltimore Ravens: Five Players Who Impressed in Thursday's Preseason Opener
The Baltimore Ravens came out slow on Thursday night, allowing the Atlanta Falcons to jump out to a 14-0 lead. That Atlanta lead came as a result of two offensive drives by Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in which he picked apart Baltimore's defense.
The slow start continued on offense as well, as Joe Flacco and Co. failed to convert a first down on each of the first three offensive possessions.
However, the Ravens eventually buckled down and were able to come back to win the game 31-17. In Thursday's victory, there were several Ravens who looked like they're close to being ready for the regular season.
Here are five Ravens who impressed against the Falcons.
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Quarterback Joe Flacco picked up right where he left off from last season, throwing for 88 yards and a touchdown Thursday night.
Completing 9-of-12 passes, Flacco showed no signs of taking a step back in his fifth NFL season. While he only played in four offensive series, Flacco looked like he was in midseason form, evenly distributing the ball across the field.
Flacco's best throw of the night was his last one, when he connected with tight end Ed Dickson for a 9-yard touchdown.
With fellow rookie running back Bernard Pierce sidelined with a hamstring injury, undrafted free agent Bobby Rainey more than took advantage of the opportunity.
Playing for a large portion of Thursday's game, Rainey rushed for 36 yards on 12 attempts. The 5'8" running back also caught three passes out of the backfield totaling 28 yards and a touchdown.
To add to Rainey's dynamic night, he also was on the kick return team on several occasions. Rainey showed against the Falcons that he is highly versatile, which will help his case to make the final 53-man roster.
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The Ravens have yet to decide who the fourth and fifth wide receivers on the team will be, but rookie Deonte Thompson may have made the process a little easier for Baltimore on Thursday night.
Playing for the majority of the second half, Thompson caught three passes for 53 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.
While Thompson may have only had three catches, he shows what he can bring to the offense even when he doesn't record a catch. He's one of the fastest players on the team, and that speed helped stretch the field for quarterback Curtis Painter.
Having a speedy receiver run deep greatly helps an offense open up its play calling, which is why Thompson could contribute to the team this season.
The award for best all-around Raven Thursday night undoubtedly goes to rookie safety Omar Brown.
The undrafted free agent out of Marshall shined in his first NFL game, recovering two fumbles, recording an interception and posting two tackles.
Being a part of three turnovers is a promising sign for Brown, as right now he's a long shot to make the final 53-man roster.
But if Brown posts three more performances like the one Thursday night, the Ravens may consider keeping him for the final roster.
After starting off his night with a few incompletions, third-string quarterback Curtis Painter settled in and had an impressive game.
Painter excelled in distributing the ball to different receivers as each of his three touchdowns were to different targets (Thompson, Rainey and tight end Billy Bajema).
There's only a slight chance Painter could even battle Tyrod Taylor for the backup job, but it was a promising sign for the Ravens to see Painter throw for 76 yards and three touchdowns on Thursday night.