After a 17-12 win over the Carolina Panthers last week, the Ravens look to continue their winning ways of this preseason against the local rivals. The Washington Redskins host the Ravens at FedEx Field after winning their first preseason matchup by a nice, comfortable score of 42-17 over the Buffalo Bills.
The Ravens are fighting the ongoing injury battle this week, as they have been since training camp kicked off earlier this month. While a win isn’t imperative, the coaching staff hopes that the team’s backups and role players can step up and show that they can be adequate replacements for injured starters.
More about the game after the jump.
First, we’ll start with a quick look back to last week’s game. Joe Flacco was extremely impressive, Willis McGahee played well, and the young cornerbacks who we had all written off as mediocre, guys like Prince Miller, Chris Hawkins, and Cary Williams, stepped up their game and were big in the secondary. Tonight, it’s safe to assume that it would be good to see all of that again.
Players To Watch:
- Mark Clayton- After making an incredible touchdown grab against the Panthers, Clayton is riding a wave of momentum. After having an impressive couple of weeks at camp, the guy who I wrote off as being a “bust” and a player who’d have to work hard to make the roster, has become a very formidable weapon for the Ravens’ offense. He has a minor injury, but if he plays, look for him to make a few catches tonight and maybe line up in the slot a bit, which could turn out to be his position during the season.
- Jalen Parmele- Parmele may be the complete opposite of Clayton right now. While Parmele was being talked about as being ready to step in for Willis McGahee if a trade was made last week, he turned in a mediocre performance against Carolina. On top of that, Prince Miller made a huge play in the return game, where Parmele is expected to make an impact this year. A good game tonight from Parmele would go a long way for him.
- Cary Williams- Even though he’s suspended for the first two games of the season, Williams has had such a good training camp and preseason thus far to have talk of becoming a starter swirling around him. He was physical, intimidating and quick against the Panthers, and that may have given him a good amount of confidence. He may have to play against Donovan McNabb, which will be a great test for him, as McNabb is a whole lot better than Jimmy Clausen.
- Terrence Cody- “Cheeseburger” Cody had an incredible game against the Panthers last week, and hopefully we’ll see more of that tonight. I can’t imagine anything better than Cody chasing down Donovan McNabb for a sack on a third down play. He and Antwan Barnes teamed up to generate some great pressure, and that might just be the future of the Ravens’ pass rush.
- Tom Zbikowski- Zibby is the staff favorite here at EbonyBird.com, and we hope he continues his impressive August tonight. He’s shown great vision in the defensive backfield, a knack for making open-field tackles and thus far, he’s been more impressive than Ken Hamlin. With more good preseason performances, he could take the free safety starting spot that has been left open by Ed Reed’s injury.
When I was at training camp on Thursday, both kickers were on their game. On one of the fields at McDaniel, the kickers were working by themselves and were splitting the uprights beautifully. Billy Cundiff’s only miss of the session was from 55 yards, and Shayne Graham’s two misses were an upright-dinger from 50 and a kick that was about an inch wide from 55. While I still feel like Shayne Graham is the better option for the team this season, Cundiff has had a great August to make me think twice about that. The next three games will be huge as the Ravens’ coaching staff makes what will turn out to be a very important decision regarding the kickers.
- Fabian Washington will play tonight, his first game back after tearing his ACL last season. Watch and see how well he moves and if he can cut quickly when receivers run sharp routes.
- From what I saw on Thursday, Haloti Ngata looked to be pretty well recovered from the injury that caused him to miss last week’s game. While he may not play, keep your eye on him if he does.
- Oniel Cousins will not play. With Jared Gaither already being out, the offensive line’s depth will be tested for the second straight week.
After this game, we’ll have our first batch of player ratings and our first 53-man roster projection. Look for those on either Sunday or Monday. Immediately after the game, we’ll have a recap. Watch out later today for our preview of the running backs.