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Notable stat lines:
FS Tom Zbikowski, 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF
SS Haruki Nakamura, 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF
DE Paul Kruger, 3 tackles, 1 assist, 1.5 sacks
CB Cary Williams, 2 tackles, 1 assist, 1 INT
One of the best plays of the night came courtesy of Tom Zbikowski, when Carolina QB Matt Moore failed to recognize the incoming blitz and Zbikowski came free. The Ravens' substitute for all-world FS Ed Reed proved yet again that the Ravens will be okay at the FS spot until Reed returns, forcing a key fumble that with a little bit of luck could have been a turnover. Obviously, a healthy Ed Reed is an upgrade over pretty much anybody, but in addition to Zbikowski, the Ravens have a wealth of talent at the two safety positions.
It is well known, however, that the Ravens are going with several untested players at the cornerback position, and it showed last night. Carolina's second round draft choice, the much-heralded QB Jimmy Clausen, had a good game, going 8/15 with an interception that wasn't really his fault. However, it doesn't matter who the rookie QB is- a good defensive team should have given Clausen a "welcome to the NFL, rookie" type of game, even with the second stringers, and the Ravens failed to do that.
On the other hand, the Ravens secondary was not a disaster. CB Cary Williams played pretty well, and undrafted Georgia CB Prince Miller played pretty much the entire game.
Still, the Panthers were without superstar WR Steve Smith all night and don't really have much depth at wideout. It's hard to say that the Ravens are going to be fine at the cornerback position in light of this game alone, and while it's good to get all these young guys a chance to play, the Ravens should look into getting a starting caliber corner on this roster from somewhere.