Preseason Week 2: Ravens Who Helped Themselves
The Ravens continued their dominant preseason by defeating the Green Bay Packers 26-13, extending their preseason winning streak to 15 games. Let’s take a look at which Ravens really helped themselves:
Lamar Jackson, QB: We only saw Lamar Jackson for two drives, but man did he leave a lasting impression. His first drive stalled out in Packers territory which resulted in chip shot field goal from Justin Tucker. His second drive though is what has the national media talking about him. On 3rd and 10 in Packers territory, Jackson razzle and dazzled his way into the end zone by hurdling his former Louisville teammate Jaire Alexander, only to have the play nullified by a penalty. If you somehow haven’t seen the play, here it is.
Although Jackson did have that nifty run he also missed two throws, both of which were intended for Hayden Hurst. The first throw was down the left sideline where he slightly overthrew Hurst out-of-bounds and the second was a short throw in the middle of the field where it looked like Jackson never set his feet. Other than those two miscues Lamar Jackson look significantly more comfortable commanding the offense than he did at any point last season which is huge.
Justice Hill, RB: The fourth round rookie running back out of Oklahoma State was quiet during OTA’s and training camp, but he’s been the talk of town the last two weeks other than quarterback Lamar Jackson. In his second preseason game Hill showed off his elusiveness and it caught the attention of NFL talking heads around the league. Specifically, a hand-off to the right side of the field where he immediately made a defender miss with a jump cut and sprinted outside for the first down and some change.
Former NFL player and now analyst Brian Baldinger is a huge fan of Justice Hill and highlighted him on his weekly film breakdowns. Baldinger was so impressed with Hill that he went as far as to say
"“the rookie out of Oklahoma State, he might be their best back though. I mean he’s got it all.”"
This is high praise considering their number one back is a former Heisman winner in Mark Ingram. Along with that impressive run, Hill also tacked on a rushing touchdown which was also a pretty neat play. Hill has shown a lot of promise in these first two preseason games and if he keeps it up the coaches won’t have much of a choice but to put him on the field in September.
Patrick Ricard, FB/DL: Let me just start this off by saying Patrick Ricard will make this 53 man roster and his play on Thursday solidified that. I will admit, I was a little skeptical of Ricard’s roster status earlier in the offseason but his versatility proved to be valuable against the Green Bay Packers. On offense, Ricard is a fantastic blocker and when the Ravens went for it on 4th down they converted on it by using Ricard in a fullback role both times. On defense, Ricard was a force to be reckoned with and came up with a fumble recovery that resulted in Justice Hills touchdown run. Two way players are very rare in this league and there is no doubt in my mind that Patrick Ricard is going to make this team. He is a special talent.
Chris Moore, WR: There has been a lot of focus on the wide receiver core this offseason because of how youthful it is but Chris Moore has really stepped into a leadership role. Moore now has made highlight reel plays in the first two preseason games and his touchdown this week was a promising sign of what’s to come. Rookie quarterback Trace McSorley threw a dart to Moore on a quick slant route and Moore easily out-sprinted the corner to the end zone which is the type of play we expect from the 4th year vet. A few people on Twitter have been skeptical of Moore’s chances on making this roster but I believe he has been a lock from day one and he’s done nothing but solidify that belief since then.