Week 3 game notes


-Torrey Smith looks great- Torrey had over 100 yards and none of them came on deep routes. his route running was the sharpest Ive ever seen it and he looks pretty comfortable in the new no-huddle offense (except on the play where he clearly had no clue where he was supposed to go and delayed the snap and Flacco was sacked and fumbled).

-Speaking of Flacco- Flacco was a monster tonight and he picked apart the Jags D with ease. the no-huddle attack is clearly where he is most comfortable and he definitely has the ability to call audibles now.

-Offense looks sharp- The Offense was missing perhaps its two best players in Yanda and Rice(Rice did play one series) and they had easily their best night. It isn’t a coincidence that their best game is also the only preseason game teams do any game planning for. Flacco hit 9 different WRs and the running backs all looked solid.

-Tucker might have already won the kicking battle- tonight Billy Cundiff didn’t play at all. Tucker took every FG, XP and kickoff attempt and he was absolutely perfect on the night. He was 2/2 on FGs including a 53 yarder that looked like it would have been good from 60. The biggest knock on Tucker has been that he isn’t a great kickoff specialist, all but one of his kicks went at least 8 yards into the endzone tonight. There are some rumors that Cundiff could be released as early as tomorrow morning, they are unconfirmed at this time.

-The Ravens Secondary is fine- Bernard Pollard and Lardarius Webb both looked elite tonight, Gabbert essentially avoided Webb and Ed Reed as much as he could(he did target Reed once early but Reed was playing man coverage from the line of scrimmage which was clearly a mis-match). Jimmy Smith had a very good game as well, he did draw a PI penalty, but it was a very bad call. Smith did a much better job turning to find the ball than he did in previous weeks.

-Upshaw shows improvement- Upshaw did not start but he rotated in to the starting lineup and registered his first sack in the fourth quarter. Upshaw looked much less timid than he did last week when he had the deer in headlights look going.

-Cary Williams continues to struggle, might be on the trade block- Williams allowed a way to easy 27 yard catch to rookie WR Justin Blackmon. he was out of position quite a bit and he seems to be struggling to find his place in the slightly different Scheme under Dean Pees. There are rumblings that Cary Williams could be headed to the Colts in exchange for a high draft pick(I would imagine it is a second rounder). I think this would be a very good trade for both sides. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Ravens will be looking strongly at the possibility of trading up in the first round of next years draft to get an ILB(possibly Manti Teo), adding an additional second round pick giving them 12 total factoring in the 4 compensatory picks that the Ravens are expected to get would make trades very easy to pursue. The Ravens roster is so deep that they need quality picks, not quantity picks at this point.

– I don’t buy Gabbert as a “vastly improved” player- Gabbert has looked good in the preseason so far but tonight he reverted to his old form every time the Ravens sent a blitz. he still hears footsteps when he is pressured. his great preseason has been more about how good Blackmon is than how much he has improved.

-Mercedes Lewis is extremely under-rated- maybe Ravens fans don’t care but, Lewis is bordering on being an Elite TE. He is the best blocking TE in the game.

-Justin Blackmon….Wow- Blackmon has everything you want in a WR except elite speed. he is like a young Boldin plus a few inches of height and about 10 lbs. yikes.

-Vonta Leech has to be happy- Last week Leech was upset about his playtime thanks to the no huddle, tonight he was in quite a bit and even caught himself a TD pass. good night for Vonta.

-Laquan Williams looks like a roster lock- Early in the offseason there were rumblings that Williams was likely to lose his roster spot, but that seems like years ago as Williams has once again battled the odds and seems to be a near lock to make the team again. way to go Laquan!

-Steeter finally makes some plays- Streeter caught back to back catches for 40 yards and a TD(33 yards on a slant) and showed off some playmaking ability by breaking a tackle and basically walking into the endzone. I would be surprised to see Streeter get cut, he isn’t likely to clear waivers if released and i doubt the Ravens want to risk losing a raw player with his size/speed combo. at this point i think the Ravens go with 6 WRs. Smith, Boldin, Jones, Williams, Streeter and Doss. they might carry 7 thanks to this new offense and Deonte Thompsons special teams skills.

-Special teams need help- the Ravens made a big push to improve their special teams but at this point it doesn’t appeared to have worked. they almost allowed three kick return TDs. The one bright spot was Pernell McPhee being credited with a blocked FG, and that might not have been legit.

-Billy Bajema is likely to make the team- before Dickson went down i would have said he had a slim shot, but at least until the two TEs prove they are healthy, Bajema will be on the Ravens roster.