Last night the Ravens took on the Atlanta Falcons at home. The Falcons had their way in the first half of the game jumping out to a 20-7 lead. They would kick a field goal late in the third and the Ravens’ Second Team Offense would come surging back scoring 20 unanswered points and pulling out a win. There were both positives and negatives for the Ravens last night. A lot of things are falling into place nice and there are still some things that need work.
- Torrey Smith has big play potential. (If you didn’t already know this). Smith caught a seemingly simple quick slant route and managed to turn a mistake by the safety into a huge 77-yard TD run. Pretty much the only bright spot from the starting offense.
- Flacco had a good completion percentage again.
- The first team offense has a lot of issues to work out.
- The running game was lack luster only mustering up 61-yards all game with no touchdowns to show for it.
- The passing game was pretty abysmal too aside from a 77-yard TD strike to Smith.
- The Ravens turned the ball over more times (2) than the Falcons (1)
- The time of possession was pretty atrocious. The Falcons had the ball for almost 40 minutes to the Ravens 20. It is a wonder they managed to win the game, because when this happens very few teams end up winning when their offense has the ball for only 20 minutes in the game.
- The defense looked really good at times. Like REALLY good. Dumervil looked like a monster, Brown is coming into his own (3 tackles, 2 for loss), and Elam played pretty fantastic (6 tackles, 1 for loss). The whole front 7 in general looked good. The more you look the front 7, the more they look like a group of guys that are going to cause a lot of offensive coordinators a lot of sleepless nights. Daryl Smith is another name to look out for. He’s looking fantastic. He was good in Jacksonville and, I think, can really do a lot of good here too. I think him and Arthur Brown get the starting jobs at inside linebacker.
- The backups played well. I think the Ravens have a lot of depth on defense and can cycle guys in throughout the season that will allow for different match ups that will benefit us. They have a lot of guys that can do a lot of good things on the field.
- For the length of time that they were on the field the defense held up really well.
- Again, there were some communication issues in the secondary. Jimmy Smith got beat on a couple of plays where he lost his support over the top. He gave the receiver the inside thinking that he had support there but the safety went off and did something else. Communication needs to get better for the Ravens’ defense. It will, so I’m not worried. It is only the second preseason game.
- The defense gave up 422 total yards. This number is kind of the fault of the offense for not being able to sustain drives. If the other team is on the field for twice as long as you are, they’re going to put up big numbers. I’m surprised that the defense held the Falcons to 23 points when they clearly dominated in terms of yardage. The Falcons actually had less yards per play than the Ravens offense. Its probably because they ran 82 plays to the Ravens’ 46.
- Another TD on special teams has me pretty excited for what the Ravens can bring to the table on this side of the ball. We have Jacoby Jones who is a known threat, but we also have players like Tandon Doss, Asa Jackson, David Reed, and Bobby Rainey who can handle return duties. Asa Jackson, who is soon to be suspended for violating the NFL’s HGH policy, returned a punt 78-yards for a TD.
- Technically Justin Tucker was perfect on his Field Goal attempts. Probably because he didnt actually make an attempt… But he was 3/3 on his extra points. So that is something too.
- The Falcons also didnt get a chance to return a kick at all during the game. The Ravens forced touch backs all night.
- Nothing really to report on this one.
Overall it was a pretty decent game by the Ravens. They have to work on their ball possession and working the clock. Maybe the Falcons defense just played really well last night, or maybe the Ravens have to work out what they want to do on offense. But without Bernard Pierce the running game looked flaccid and that affected the passing game. One thing I think the Ravens need to do is start incorporating Tyrod Taylor into the starting offense. He is showing that he can be a weapon. Now I’m not saying he splits time with Flacco at QB, but I think that he can be utilized as a weapon elsewhere. The defense looks like it will be fine once they work out their communication issues. I’m not too worried about that. I’m excited for the next preseason game because we’ll get to see what Clark and Stokley can bring to the table. The Ravens really need some help not in the big play department , but with those short catches that extend drives which is what I think Stokley and Clark can help with. Both run good routes and both have good hands. A lot of people focus on the big play guy forgetting about the guy who has half a dozen catches for 30 yards, but a good amount of those catches are ones that extended a drive that led to a TD. I think that is how we have to look at Stokley and Clark. Can they extend drives and help the team?