Here we are again Ravens fans. Once again I attempt to dress up a game that doesn’t count against a team that over the years Baltimore has been able to dominate in the Miami Dolphins. Still if tradition holds it means that the starters will get their most extended action tonight, which is good to help them sharpen their skills for the real thing or bad if you see it as more opportunities to get injured.
Either way there’s a game and I will do my best to help you view it.
- Williams or Waller? – The Ravens have done an unusually good job this pre-season avoiding the injury bug and right on cue first-rounder Hayden Hurst has been reported out for multiple weeks with a foot injury. So while it’s bad news for the offense it leaves the door open to another player making the fifty three. The two candidates are quite a contrast. Maxx Williams, the former second round pick in 2015 has been underwhelming during his tenure is being considered by some as a lock to make the squad now. (I disagree) He’s been a decent blocker but little else. Darren Waller, a former wide receiver has the size and athleticism to give linebackers fits and could prove useful as a red-zone target. Waller just returned from his second suspension with the league and considering other recent news can the team really count on him? Watch closely tonight and see who has the leg up on this competition.
- How deep is the Secondary? – One thing most pundits and fans can agree on is that Baltimore is fairly deep in the secondary and it should be a position of strength this season. That theory will be put to the test now that Jimmy Smith will be suspended for four games to open the season. On a side note Smith has flashed top ten ability but be it injury or suspension he cant seem to be counted on for a full campaign. Could this mean another Corner spot is open? If so watch Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Darious Williams who could be the top two possible replacements for Smith at least on the roster.
- Do you play Flacco tonight? – Baltimore’s offensive line will be without ailing James Hurst and Ronnie Stanley this evening while Guard supreme Marshal Yanda will also be sitting out. So the question beckons how much Flacco should play, if at all behind such a make-shift line. I think Flacco has to play at least two series but the team will need to be careful so their top quarterback doesn’t get hurt before the season really begins.
- Rookie Receivers – The top four wide-outs are set but after that is anyone’s guess at this point. Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott were my favorites to grab the last two spots but neither has done much of anything except drop the football. Breshad Perriman made some noise two games ago but it didn’t add to increased playing time against the Colts. And please stop mentioning Tim White’s name. Someone has to win this job, who will it be?
- Onwuasor or Young? – The weakside linebacker spot has been a fun battle to watch so far. Kenny Young may be the better overall player but he still needs to flash a bit to win the spot. He covers much better than the incumbent Onwuasor and that’s and area the Ravens have struggled with for some time in the linebacking corps.