Ravens vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch for

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Aug 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints in a preseason NFL football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Can Buck Allen regain lost ground on Lorenzo Taliaferro?

We’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews of rookie running back Buck Allen through the course of the offseason, and he got just as much work against the Saints as sophomore back Lorenzo Taliaferro (11 carries vs. 12).

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But Taliaferro isn’t going quietly into the night.  The trimmer, faster looking back outgained the rookie by one yard and got the call at the goal line, scoring the Ravens first touchdown of the night in week 1.

Perhaps more importantly, Taliaferro did a significantly better job in pass protection than Allen.  It led to him producing the Ravens’ best rating for an offensive player by Pro Football Focus (2.2), while Allen had the second worst (-2.4).

Pass pro is something that rookie backs often struggle with, but it’s also something that could easily cost Allen his shot at the backup job.  He’s going to have to show significant progress this week to stay in the hunt for the right to sit behind Justin Forsett on the depth chart.

Next: Will any wide receivers show up?

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