Preseason Week 1: Ravens vs Panthers Game Preview


We already got a nice little preview from Justin detailing who you should watch out for in tomorrow’s game, so I won’t address that.

Read on for some information about tonight’s preseason matchup.

First off, the starters will apparently be playing the first quarter, maybe less. Joe Flacco will start, as will Anquan Boldin. No word on whether Donte Stallworth will be in the starting lineup, but he’ll get some playing time. Whispers are that Flacco will play the first quarter under center, Marc Bulger will play the second, and the whole second half will be played by Troy Smith.

For the Panthers, Jimmy Clausen, the rookie we all love to hate from Notre Dame, will get some action in the pocket tonight. It will be interesting to see how the cornerbacks play, because as rookies go, Clausen is an extremely polished and poised passer. With Steve Smith being injured, the secondary will have less to deal with, but every game seems like it might be a challenge, regardless of who the cornerbacks have to cover.

With some of the offensive stars on display, we may not be seeing the big guns on defense like Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. Ngata is injured as it is, so seeing him would be very surprising. I’m excited to see Terrence Cody play, and see what he can do as an NFL lineman. If he can play like he did at Alabama, the way that made him a first-round talent with second-round fitness, I’d be extremely happy.

Now, we always hope injuries are avoided in these games. Last season, we lost promising receiver Marcus Smith for the season, and he doesn’t show the same potential this year after being forced to sit out a year. With Ngata, Jared Gaither, Chris Carr, and Derrick Mason all nicked up for one reason or another, look out for the coaches to err on the side of caution, especially as this is the first game.

I don’t have access to a TV, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll find an online stream of the game. If I do, I’ll be posting live updates on a new post. Justin is actually going to the game, so he’ll have some good stuff to post tomorrow.

This preview is going in our new Games Archive, which will be awesome once the season gets rolling.

Now…only a couple more hours until Ravens football is back. Life is good.