The televised Panthers @ Ravens game was a great way to have an initial look at how our fiercest division rival are stacking up. Its halftime, but from here on out it will be a mix of second and third stringers, so I'll chuck down what I've seen from the Ravens thus far.
On a side note, isnt it great to just have some football back again? That was a short offseason in many regards, perhaps because our team was in the news a lot more than usual, hence we didnt exactly have many slow days on the news feed.
Notes and Observations after the jump.
- Terrance Cody lines up at FULLBACK a couple times in a row. Gets called for a false start, but this could be a scary thought, with the bulky Leron McClain at tailback. Brings back images of Will "The Fridge" Perry playing Fullback for the Bears. Cam Cameron loves to create these kind of plays. Whether or not this comes to fruition in the regular season is yet to be seen, but its an idea to think about
- The Ravens pass rush still looked pretty electric, despite the one sack. Matt Moore actually did a pretty good job getting rid of the ball and buying time.
- Panther receivers were getting open down the field. The Ravens secondary were not covering man on man very well at all in the early stages. Matt Moore had a couple long gains negated by Offensive Holding calls on Jordan Gross, who was getting beaten by the outside rushers, including by Tavares Gooden on one.
- The Run Defense at times didnt look terribly good. Deangelo broke an early run for 22 yards, and the open field tackling was less than ideal.
- On the Ravens next possession, Brayton comes through Michael Oher twice for sacks on Flacco. Note Oher playing on the left and did not look comfortable blocking Brayton, who is definitely not known as much of a pass rusher. This is something they definitely need to work on.
- Flacco looked pretty sharp early on, the odd wobbly ball, but still finding his receivers, who were getting open against a weak Carolina secondary.
- Ravens next defensive possession was lackluster. A few second teamers in now. A 5 yard gain from the fullback turns into 10+ yards and a first down. Terrible tackling by the Ravens DBs in open field.
- Terrance Cody makes a hell of a play, pushes aside the Panthers Center, and whilst holding him up and at bay with one hand, wraps up the ball carrier with the other and tackles him for a loss. Great play and really showing off his strength.
- Ravens pass rush from the weak side is excellent, as another holding call on Gross.
- Ravens 1st team offense hits the field for likely the last time, 2 mins to go in the first.
- Good pass rush again from the Panthers, but Flacco stands his ground and hits Boldin on an Out Route. Flacco gets sandwiched for his efforts, but a good throw against strong pressure.
- Leron McClain looing like the Leron McClain of 2008 right now. Playing extensively at tailback (wheres Ray Rice?) and running downhill with authority. Trucking over defenders for first downs
- McGahee in. Either the secondary stepped up their coverage or Flacco was playing it super safe, as 4 of the next 5 plays are screens to McGahee for a total of 37 yards. Playing it safe works as McGahee makes some nice gains, he can still play in this league.
- Flacco avoids pressure on a rollout and runs about 4 yards for a first down.
- Flacco bombs a 30 yarder out to Mark Clayton who makes the catch for the touchdown. Terrible coverage it must be said by the Carolina defender (I think it was a second stringer). Got himself tangled up and didnt even jump. Clayton leaps to grab a well thrown ball.
- 10 plays, 96 yards. Efficient and effective touchdown drive
- Flacco finishes 8/12 for 120 yards and 1 touchdown. Didnt look anything amazing, mainly because Cam Cameron didnt unleash him much.
- With second stringers in on both sides, Terrance Cody again monsters his way into the backfield, this time on a pass play, but looks epically slow, and doesnt get to Clausen, however Clausen throws across his body for an incompletion.
- Ed Dickson, Rookie TE for the Ravens, looks dynamic. Needs a bit more play recognition as when to look back, but he looked athletic and fast, definitely a mismatch for Linebackers who lack speed.
- Late in the 2nd, Dickson makes a great catch from Bulger as his feet are taken out from underneath him. This is a guy to watch, he looks very good, although these are second team defenders.
- Stallworth struggled a bit with route running, but made a very good catch and run out of Trips Bunch for 26 yards
- Bulger wasnt terrible, most his incompletions were just due to the receiver not looking back, or being thrown away. If the defense stepped up its game, I could think they could still at least win games with him.
Random Other Notes:
- Clausen has a delivery like Phillip Rivers. Out to the side and very low. He forced a few passes, definitely not better than Matt Moore at this point.
- Ravens second teamers defintely outplayed the Panthers second teamers, and it could be said many of the second teamers from the Ravens were winning their matchups with the Panthers first team offense. Seem to have good depth at Wide Receiver and Defensive Front 7, although that secondary is still a concern.
Was I impressed? Not particularly. But i wasnt unimpressed. It was the first game of preseason after all. They have some nice new additions, with Terrance Cody and Ed Dickson definitely the standouts to me so far, however they also have a few question marks.
They have a solid base, and are only going to get more comfortable out there as the pre season steams along