PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Flacco Removed Doubts As Starter: Marc Bulger is an excellent backup quarterback. But Joe Flacco is nearing elite status. Saturday, Flacco proved to his doubters that he is unquestionably the starter in Baltimore – expunging any quarterback controversy buzz that surfaced last week. Somehow a few observers allowed back-to-back playoff berths and a 20-12 career record to be erased by a quarter of sub-par preseason play. Yes, the Ravens are in great hands if an injury were to befall Flacco, but tonight, No. 5 and his weapons never looked better.
Nakamura Becoming A Legit Playmaker: Ankle injury? What ankle injury? Safety Haruki Nakamua is having a monstrous preseason and is showing no ill-effects of a nasty ankle injury that ended his 2009 campaign in Week 10. It’s one thing to be a solid defender that makes few mistakes, but it is another to actually make plays that change the game. The third-year safety came up with a “how did he do that?” interception in the second quarter. He seemed to fly around the field all night while adding four pass defenses. Saturday’s outing comes after a 51-yard scamper during a fake punt against the Redskins last week.
Sloppy Tackling Emerged: Part of the issue with the Ravens’ sloppy tackling was Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw’s stiffarm, but Ravens defenders also failed to wrap up once they got a hand on ball carriers. It wasn’t an overwhelming problem, but it may have been enough to make Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison implement some special drills this week to squash the issue. Among the culprits were safeties Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski and cornerback Fabian Washington.
Carr Works On The Outside: Saturday night was our first real preseason glimpse of Chris Carr because of a pesky hamstring injury that forced him to watch most of each game from the sidelines. Plus, we still hadn’t seen Carr get too much work outside because he’s typically the staple in the nickel packages. But Carr showed he can handle the duties if Lardarius Webb isn’t ready to play by the season-opener. The six-year veteran finished the night as the Ravens’ leading tackler (eight combined) and added one sack for a loss of 11 yards.
Bubble Player Standouts: The third preseason game is typically about the starters, but it is still, in fact, a preseason game. Marcus Smith helped make a case for a spot on the team and, interestingly enough, so did Demetrius Williams. He was a scratch because of an ankle injury, but with Donte’ Stallworth’s broken foot, Williams has a much better chance of making the team. Rookie cornerback Prince Miller got beat a couple of times in coverage. He will need a stronger fourth and final preseason game to make an impression on coaches.