“Under Review” Preseason Week 1: Ravens vs. Falcons
If you looked at the score of last night’s Ravens game you might think the Ravens demolished the Falcons. Unfortunately that’s far from the truth.
The Ravens starters looked shaky at best. It took the Ravens starters a full quarter to get a first down, and that may not even be the worst of it. The starting offense looked incoherent and out of sync. A major issue the Ravens are going to have to confront is their offensive line. I understand they’re young, but you can’t have your starting quarterback taking hits in the first week of the preseason.
On defense the starters weren’t as bad as the offense but that say much. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones played catch down the entire field while Cary Williams watched. Every other play it seemed Cary Williams was getting burnt somewhere. However, the Ravens front seven did play well, even without Suggs. The Ravens showed throughout the night they could get pressure using their defensive backs, which is something we haven’t seen them do in past seasons.
After the starters got out of the game some of the back ups really impressed. Deonte Thompson, a receiver out of Florida, showed great speed and ability to get open. Both Tyrod Taylor, and Curtis Painter played well. Taylor was able to use play action to make some amazing plays, while Curtis Painter showed exceptional poise staying in the pocket and locating the open receiver.
On the other side of the ball, safety, Omar Brown was making plays all night. Brown recorded two fumble recoveries and an interception. And if you were forced to listen to Stan White you know that in the NFL they’re looking for guys who make the big plays. Sorry, I can’t stand listening to Stan White. I had to take a shot at him at some point.
For the first time in a while I actually heard Sergio Kindle’s name called. He played for most of the game and recorded three tackles. He could be a huge part of the Ravens defense with Terrell Suggs out.
Holy cow, the replacement officials were horrible. The head official referred to the “Atlanta” Falcons as the “Arizona” Falcons twice! You could tell the officials were scared out of their minds. At one point Joe Flacco slid for a gain of a couple of yards, and a Falcons defender hit him while he’s already on the ground. How do you not call that?! With veteran officials you would’ve saw four yellow flags thrown for a hit on a defenseless player.
And finally my biggest pet peeve of the night: the challenge flag. You’re playing in a meaningless game. There’s no need to waste anymore time by throwing the challenge flag. It should be band from the preseason.
All in all I think the Ravens have a lot of work to do, but that’s why we have the preseason. By looking at John Harbaugh’s demeanor you can tell he’s going to make sure every little detail is corrected.