Ravens Second String Hangs by a Thread

Jarrett CarterAnalyst IAugust 25, 2009

BALTIMORE - AUGUST 24:  Troy Smith #10 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass in a preseason game against the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on August 24, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

How much changed for the Baltimore Ravens between their first game against Washington and their second game against the New York Jets?

About the entire heart and soul of the second string offense and defense.

Oh, the first team on both sides of the ball looked great. Save for doses of Leon Washington up the middle, the Ravens might very well have kept the Jets on their side of the 50 for the first half.

But Troy Smith and the second string looked absolutely frayed. The calm that Smith displayed against Washington was far removed from the indecision and poor movement he showed last night.

Perhaps you could attribute it to Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes and his familiarity with the Ravens’ offense. After all, you don’t go to another town and forget the one you built before you left, according to Bart Scott.

But doubt of the game’s outcome should have been removed in the third quarter, instead of the last 30 seconds.

And with a Ravens team that is notorious for injuries on both sides of the ball, depth is absolutely key.

If you were not watching the game and saw the final score and box score, you would think the Ravens’ offense lit it up last night.

But in true RavensTown fashion, the squad won with opportunistic defense and decent play by special teams. The winning points in the fourth quarter were scored by kicker Steven Hauschka on a 42-yarder with a little over seven minutes remaining in the game.

In all, it was a win in classic fashion for the Ravens. But this team has always been as good as its reserves, and right now, there are multiple knots in the second string.

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