On a rainy night in downtown Baltimore, the Ravens were able to come away with a 17-12 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the first preseason game of the season. With high expectations of what the result would be of a busy off season, the Ravens looked to make a statement on how they want to play football this year while starting the process of filling the remaining roster spots. A view quick notes from tonight's game.
- The offense came out passing right away. Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco worked the play action pass all throughout the first quarter, moving the ball fairly well all over the field. Joe was impressive with his ability to not lock on to certain targets during the first half and spread the ball to different areas. Flacco's stat line of 8/12 120 yards and 1 TD was a nice performance. Marc Bulger started off slow, but picked up with leading the offense on a long drive in the 1st half. 3rd backup Troy Smith had a rough time staying on his feet and did not complete too many passes, but was able to score the touchdown that gave Baltimore a comfortable lead.
- The run game started to pick up late, mostly in the 2nd half where rookie Curtis Steeler led all RB with 10 carries for 32 yards, including a run of 20 yards. Jalen Paramle put the ball on the ground once which was recovered by Carolina, as well as did Steele. LeRon McClain was seen as the main ball carrier in the 1st few series. No looks at Ray Rice tonight, but coach Harbaugh said that it was not a priority to get Rice time tonight.
- Not too much passing tonight, so there were few standouts at WR. Clayton is the obvious choice for his touchdown catch in the 2nd quarter from Flacco. This is something we have seen Clayton do in the past and it shows we can still rely on Mark for these types of plays. Impressed with the play of rookie TE Ed Dickson as he had 2 big catches for us tonight that were part of a long drive by the offense. Boldin was quiet with having only 1 catch for 12 yards, but that was expected.
- O-Line play was off and on throughout most of the game, but the first team did a fairly good job. Oher was beat on one play for a sack, but was showing progress at his new position of left tackle.
- Pass rush was exceptional tonight. Greg Mattison brought the pressure from all angles which caused alot of problems for the Carolina quarterbacks. Antwan Barnes was particularly strong tonight where there were 6-7 times that Barnes beat his man and forced an early throw. The strong blitz was able to contribute 7 sacks to a good defensive performance.
- Individually, Terrence Cody was a man against the Panthers, beating numerous double teams and causing havoc in the backfield multiple times. It really showed tonight just how strong and quick Cody can be on certain plays and poor Jimmy Clausen was scared for his life back there. Did Mount Cody really lineup at fullback? Yes, he did.
- Secondary was quietly effective tonight during a game where the conditions made it tough to pass. Was impressive to see the discipline of our DB's where the group was able to break up a few key passes. The ball stayed in front of them the whole time and never got over their heads, something Baltimore had a rough time doing last season. CB's Cary Williams and Prince Miller were strong throughout. Williams had a nice hit late in the game and an interception while Miller recorded 3 tackles and 2 pass deflections.
- Special Teams was one of the strongest factors in the win over the Panthers. Both kickers were strong on kickoffs and coverage on both punts and kicks was solid as well. Shayne Graham missed a 50 yard field goal in the game while Cundiff was not able to get a shot at any. Return of the night goes to rookie UFA cornerback Prince Miller who has a very nice 57 return which set up the touchdown a few plays later.
When all factors of the team play well and together, a victory will happen for us. The game against Carolina was an example of that and Baltimore was able to take alot of good things out of this game. Continue the discussion with your thoughts for the time being.