Ravens: Positive takeaways from first preseason game

Ravens. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New Orleans Saints in their first preseason game by a score of 17-14, which means their impressive preseason winning streak remains intact.

There was quite a lot to like about the Ravens’ performance, despite the team trailing for most of the game. As expected, Baltimore sat many key players including Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Sammy Watkins, and Brandon Williams.

But needless to say, other players stepped up. In Jackson’s place, Tyler Huntley made a case for taking the backup quarterback position. Huntley and rival Trace McSorley had been battling it out the past few weeks in training camp, but last night’s game gave Huntley a clear advantage.

Huntley ran for a game-winning 7-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, which was also Baltimore’s only touchdown of the game. His entrance in the second half changed the tide of the Ravens’ offense and he ended the game going 12-of-16 for 79 yards and running 43 yards on seven carries.

McSorley, on the other hand, struggled for most of the first half and was 10-of-17 for 71 yards, and he recorded an interception. Coach John Harbaugh revealed that McSorley was dealing with back spasms before the game which could explain his poor showing, but that doesn’t take anything away from Huntley’s game-changing performance.

Baltimore Ravens defeat New Orleans Saints in well-earned preseason victory

The other players who also showed up: Ar’Darius Washington came up big to force Saints’ running back Tony Jones Jr. to fumble late in the game, rookies Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes had good (but not great) games, and much of the secondary unit impressed in the backfield.

Corner Chris Westry held his own, and despite drawing a petty taunting penalty, was reliable for most of the game.  Former seventh-rounder Geno Stone recorded two interceptions, and Shaun Wade grabbed one of his own late in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore already has Marlon Humphrey as the undisputed leader of the group, but the youth and talent in their secondary going into 2021 can’t be denied.

The Ravens’ defense looked spot on last night, and one of the reasons goes by the name Patrick Queen. We’ve previously written about Queen’s potential claim to greatness this season, and Saturday’s game proved he was….totally up to the task.

Queen started alongside Malik Harrison and wreaked havoc in the first quarter.

He looked comfortable as ever in his position when he perfectly executed back-to-back plays: first, he sniffed out a screen pass and notched a tackle for loss. Then, he ran past the offensive tackle to get the sack on Saints QB Taysom Hill for a loss of 12 yards.

We still have our doubts about his consistency over a 17-game season, but if Queen keeps up this rate of production, the Ravens should enjoy many victories ahead.

Next. 3 pleasant surprises from training camp so far. dark

An overall solid showing from Baltimore (and New Orleans’ sloppy plays) got the Ravens a well-earned win Saturday night. We’re excited to see which players will keep performing, and which will start to deflate, in the next preseason game.