Baltimore Ravens: 5 Players Who Struggled in Thursday's Preseason Opener

Kyle Casey@@kylecasey094Correspondent IIIAugust 12, 2012

Baltimore Ravens: 5 Players Who Struggled in Thursday's Preseason Opener

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    There are several positives that can be taken away from the Baltimore Ravens' 31-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. 

    Rookie running back Bobby Rainey provided a spark for the offense, and rookie safety Omar Brown was around the ball on every play, as he was a part of three turnovers.

    But unfortunately for the Ravens, some players didn't live up to expectations. 

    Here are five Ravens who need to show improvement in practice this week after a poor performance on Thursday.

Cary Williams

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    The Baltimore Ravens player who undoubtedly had the worst performance on Thursday night was cornerback Cary Williams.

    Starting in Jimmy Smith's place, Williams was presented with the task of defending Falcons receiver Julio Jones. But, Williams could not keep up with Jones. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attacked Williams from the start and was quite successful. 

    Being guarded primarily by Williams, Jones finished the night with six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.

    Once Smith is healthy, Williams will move back to the third cornerback job, but he must improve his cover skills before doing so. 

Bobbie Williams

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    Baltimore's offensive line situation is in an uncertain state right now. Part of that uncertainty is at the left guard position, where veteran Bobbie Williams is currently listed as the starter.

    Williams greatly underwhelmed in his Ravens debut on Thursday night, as he was consistently outmatched by the Falcons defensive line. He appeared to have some miscommunications with the rest of the offensive line, which led to quarterback Joe Flacco having to release the ball much quicker than he should have.

    For Williams, the struggle may have just been some rust he had to knock off. But if Williams can't fix his problems, Flacco will have a long season of getting rushed from his blind side. 

Anthony Allen

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    With rookie running back Bernard Pierce out of Thursday's game due to a hamstring injury, it was second-year running back Anthony Allen's chance to take a lead in the backup running back battle.

    However, Allen did the exact opposite of that. 

    Allen ran for just nine yards on five attempts and also dropped a pass. That performance certainly did not give Allen an edge in the competition. Right now, the backup running back job appears to be Pierce's to lose, but that could still certainly change with three preseason games to go.

Sergio Kindle

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    With outside linebacker Terrell Suggs out until at least November with an Achilles injury, the Ravens desperately need third-year linebacker Sergio Kindle to live up to his potential.

    Kindle has had an overwhelmingly disappointing career so far, and that disappointment continued on Thursday night. Playing for the majority of the game, Kindle was only able to record one tackle.

    For the most part, Kindle was irrelevant on Baltimore's defense. Besides his lone tackle, he was hardly even talked about during Thursday's game. 

    That can't become a trend if Kindle intends to fill the vacancy at outside linebacker that Suggs has left.

Chester Stewart

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    Entering Thursday's game, undrafted rookie Chester Stewart was a long shot to make the Ravens roster or even the practice squad. After a disappointing performance, however, it's unlikely that Stewart will be on the team much longer. 

    Entering the game in the fourth quarter, Stewart had one pass attempt, which resulted in an interception. The throw was ill-advised as Stewart's intended receiver was blanketed.

    To add to that, Stewart totaled negative four yards on two rushing attempts. At this point, the Ravens should consider cutting ties with Stewart.