Joe Flacco Flourishes as Baltimore Ravens Dominate Giants in Preseason
If the third preseason game is the dress rehearsal for the season, Ravens fans are going to see a very good show.
The Ravens dominated the Giants on both sides of the ball and with both starters and backups in a 24-10 beating that was worse than the score indicates.
The Ravens looked like a team that could do anything they want.
The first team offense led by Joe Flacco played a bit in to the third quarter. They were clearly working on tempo and passing, using a no-huddle offense and spreading the ball around the field.
Other than the first series, which was a three-and-out, the Ravens looked like they were just toying with the Giants defense. There were a couple of sloppy plays, but for the most part the offense looks confident and effective.
They didn't bother to establish the running game, in part because passing was so effective, but also because that aspect of the game probably doesn't need much work.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens continue to dominate. Even with some sloppy and inconsistent tackling by the first squad, the Giants could only muster a field goal until the last few minutes of the game.
One item of note is that when the starters come out, the Ravens defense continues to dominate other teams, showing the remarkable depth on the squad. I think we will see many Ravens who are cut end up as impact defensive players on other teams. The linebackers in particular played very well last night.
Even Edgar Jones, someone I thought may struggle to make the team this year, looked like he was all over the field.
The team also continues to play their brand of physical football on both offense and defense.
Special teams play also impressed me last night. The Ravens will win field position games on the back of the kicking team. We still haven't seen either of the place kickers stand out, I expect the game against the Rams to showcase both kickers (I doubt we'll see them go for it on any fourth downs).
On the injury front, there were two setbacks for the team. Donte Stallworth broke his foot planting it in the turf, and will be out eight to 10 weeks. That's a big loss for both the offense and special teams. Mark Clayton also left the game early after a pretty nasty hit that left him with a concussion. The team expects he will be back for the season opener against the Jets.
The injury to Stallworth will open up the competition for a roster spot between Williams, who was out last night with an ankle sprain, David Reed, and Marcus Smith. I was pretty sure Williams would not make the team, but now I think he's got a shot if he can get his ankle healthy.
I don't expect to see the starters play much, if at all in next weeks game against the Rams, the game will be all about who makes the roster. The starters look ready for the Jets.
Based on what they have shown in the preseason, the Ravens are going to be a force in the AFC this year if they can stay healthy.
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