Ryan Mallett is the starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens until Joe Flacco gets back on the field. How should Ravens fans feel about Mallett’s performance Thursday night?
Ryan Mallett got the start for the Baltimore Ravens in the first preseason game. Against the Washington Redskins, Mallett completed just half of his passes and gained only 58 yards. It was an unimpressive start. The date of Joe Flacco’s return is still quite unclear, the Ravens back up quarterback has never been so important. The bottom line is that Mallett needs to play better than that.
Mallett did nothing horrible, and nothing all that spectacular. It’s not like he threw a bunch of interceptions or fall flat on his face. Mallett’s job on Thursday night was to ease the anxiety caused by the idea that he may start the season opener against the Bengals. He didn’t do that.
The Ravens defense is supposed to be really good. This has been a great excuse for Mallett and the offense so far in training camp. The defense proved to be really strong, as they dismantled Washington throughout the game. Mallett had a low completion percentage and an unflattering amount of production against the Redskins. It is not just the Ravens defense that can give Mallett a hard time.
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There were some positive things from Mallett. There were a couple of plays that could have been sacks that he turned into a positive with a timely throw. He also looked poised and collected. It is important to remember that Mallett didn’t have Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Danny Woodhead and Ben Watson at his disposal. He wasn’t in sync with the young receivers and it showed. That’s not necessarily Mallett’s fault.
The Bottom Line.
The Ravens have next to no cap space, even after restructuring Jimmy Smith’s contract. The timing stinks for bringing in another quarterback. In the case that Flacco is down for football where the score actually counts, Mallett will be the man under center. With this defense looking so fast and physical, Mallett doesn’t need to do much, but he needs to be able to make plays.
The highlight of Mallett’s night was an incomplete pass to Michael Campanaro that drew a pass interference penalty. It kept a scoring drive alive, but it was a bad throw that was bailed out a penalty. Mallett needs to build off this performance. He didn’t have much touch or accuracy and he only averaged 3.2 yards per attempt. His quarterback rating was 57.2, which is less than impressive.
If the Ravens were looking for confidence in Ryan Mallett, they shouldn’t be too pleased. The Ravens running backs and young receivers gave plenty of good flashes. We knew the offense was a work in progress and we saw some good things. Baltimore needs more from the quarterback position than Mallett showed in his preseason start.