Last night the Baltimore Ravens went up against the Los Angeles Rams in front of an excited Baltimore crowd.
The starting offense, with the exception of veteran guard Marshall Yanada, played one series for the Ravens. Joe Flacco completed five of his seven pass attempts, throwing for 71 yards and a nice six yard touchdown to fullback Patrick Ricard. Flacco also connected with two of his newest targets. Michael Crabtree recorded his first catch as a Raven on a play the Flacco extended with his legs. Flacco stayed in the pocket at first as he was reading over the defense, but as the pocket collapsed he rolled out to his left and found Crabtree up the sideline for a 30 yard gain. John Brown also got in on the action by taking his first reception as a Raven up the middle of the field for a 17 yard gain.
On the ground, Alex Collins and Buck Allen split time with the starters. Allen rushed once for three yards and Collins rushed twice picking up 26, however the bulk of his yards gained came off of an impressive 23 yard rush.
All-in-all, the first series consisted of 10 plays going 70 yards and ending in the endzone.
The Ravens’ starting defense played very well too. The Rams were forced to punt both times that the Ravens sent out the majority of their starters.
In comparison however, none of the starters really played for the Rams. So with that being said, the positivity surrounding the Ravens offense needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
After the first offensive series for the Ravens, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson stepped in. Jackson played a bulk of the series’ throughout the game before eventually turning it over to Robert Griffin III. In Jackson’s first drive, he led the team down the field for 73 yards and had two highlight reel plays. The first highlight came on a 36 yard pass to wide receiver Chris Moore. Moore seemed to be tightly covered but a very good pass and an even better reception completed the play. The second highlight resulted in Lamar Jackson’s first professional touchdown. Jackson dropped back to pass, but decided to take it himself leaving two defenders looking silly after a series of ankle-breaking jukes. Jackson ended his night late in the third quarter with a final stat line of seven completions on 19 attempts, 119 yards in the air, 21 yards on the ground on five carries, and one touchdown.
After Jackson’s touchdown, there was not much scoring other than a pair of field goals by kickers Justin Tucker and Kaare Vedvik. However, in the 4th quarter Robert Griffin III made a surprising connection with wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a score. This is a good showing for the former first round wide receiver because he finds himself fighting for a roster spot. The touchdown came off of a 32 yard dime from Griffin III where Perriman went over his defender to snatch the ball out of the air.
In the end, the Ravens defeated the Rams with ease, 33-7. There were a few major points that I took away from the game. First of all, the quarterback position looked very sharp. None of the QB’s turned the ball over and each one had a solid drive that resulted in a touchdown. The offensive unit as a whole looked to have some good chemistry. On the defensive side, corner Maurice Canady and outside linebacker Tim Williams both shined. Canady an interception where he undercut the receivers’ route to pick it off and Williams led the team with five tackles and a sack the forced a fumble.
I know this is just the preseason, but this team seems to be on the right track for success. It’s good to have football back.