There is more excitement in the air than usual for the Baltimore Ravens’ first preseason game. For starters, it presents a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII as the San Francisco 49ers come to town. More importantly, it’s a rematch of the “Harbaugh Bowl” (or Har-Bowl), and the brothers will get up close and personal as the teams practice together after the game.
But most of the enthusiasm is centered on the football itself. The preseason will be more important for this Baltimore team than it was in the past. The Ravens are undergoing a number of major changes, and the exhibition games will be the first indicator of how successful those changes actually were.
It will be our first look at Gary Kubiak’s new offense—albeit an extremely watered down and vanilla look. The offensive line will be on the field against real competition for the first time, and its cohesion will be put to the test against a physical Niners front seven.
The live game action will also be instrumental in deciding position battles, as fringe receivers and third-string corners battle for their roster spots.
Nobody would blame you for turning on the TV just to see the Ravens playing football again, but these are a few aspects of the game that will be important to monitor.