Ravens Vs. Lions: Why Preseason Game 3 Matters
When will we see the Ravens shine to their fullest? The Baltimore Ravens have to give us and themselves a sense of confidence going into the regular season:
Who are the 2016 Baltimore Ravens? The team’s identity is hard to find this preseason. A large part of that is not in the Ravens control. The Ravens have been without their starting quarterback, their best receiver and their two best outside linebackers so far. With key players missing action it’s impossible to get a full sense of this team.
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That’s why the third preseason game is so importance. Now, it is important to remember that week three of the preseason is the dress rehearsal for the regular season. This season, the elevated meaning of the this exhibition game is even greater. If this team looks in the mirror, can they honestly tell us that they know they’re going to be winners this year?
When Saturday night turns into Sunday morning there needs to be reason for a particular state of mind. There needs to be a widespread mental peace that allows every player, coach and fan to be thrilled for the regular season. Remember, I am not saying that the Ravens should throw caution to the wind and win the game no matter what. Caution is always needed when the score doesn’t make a lick of difference.
I’m only suggesting that confidence is needed when the scoreboard tells you a tale of life and death. At the end of the regular season, a field goal can be all that separates playoff euphoria and utter devastation. When the stakes are high, confidence and chemistry can go a long way. The stakes may be low at the moment but the Ravens have a chance to pick up that all important`team building moment.
So far the defense has to be the number one concern. The first drive in both preseason games saw a high number of snaps for the opposing quarterbacks. While the red zone defense has been tough, wouldn’t it be nice to actually give resistance in between the 20 yard lines?
If Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are ready to go and the chance of re-injury is low, John Harbaugh should give them some snaps. In this scenario the defense is fully stocked. If and when they fail with their stars all on the field, the Ravens have no more readily available excuses. It seems like that would send a message to Dean Pees to be more aggressive in defensive philosophy.
Joe Flacco will play in his first game since week 11 of the previous season. When Flacco is on the field, the offense will lose it’s biggest excuse. Finally the offense will have a real chance to get to work.
Next: Predicting The Ravens 53 Man Roster
The Ravens really have a chance to show themselves who they really are in the third week of the preseason. This is the sound check. At the end of the day we must see that the machinery is working smoothly. It’s an exhibition game, but it will be a telling one.