The Baltimore Ravens lost to the St. Louis Rams 27-20 in the team's final preseason game, ending their exhibition slate at 3-1. The next day or so will be the toughest for a lot of the players, as coaches and Front Office people pore over the task of cutting around 20 players in order to get down to the league maximum 53 man opening day roster.
The St. Louis Rams started most of their first stringers against a Ravens team that sat most, if not all of their starters for the entire night. Sam Bradford picked the Ravens reserves apart in his short stint, driving the Rams down the field with the opening kickoff and throwing a short TD pass. The second Rams drive resulted in another TD pass, this one from backup Keith Null. The Ravens defense looked lost and a step behind the Rams first stringers. However, the Rams first team needs all the reps they can get with a rookie QB and a whole slew of new players.
Don't read too much into this loss, as the final score meant nothing to the Ravens coaching staff tonight. All they wanted to see was how the reserves played in their final attempt to earn one of the very few roster spots on this team. For the most part, there were no surprises and no one single player seemed to stand out amongst the other competition. The guy who impressed me the most was when he put out a great effort on what was looking to be a length-of-the-field interception return at the end of the first half. RB Jalen Parmele never quit hustling and ran down the Rams linebacker who intercepted Troy Smith's pass and was well on his way to the house with the ball when Parmele caught him before the end zone and saved the Ravens an embarrassing reversal of fortune.
Unfortunately, the placekicking competition between Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham proved to be non-existent, as the team attempted no field goals, leaving the final decision to nothing more than what will almost be a random flip of a coin.
Friday morning will open with a story here on Baltimore Beatdown discussing the final 53 man roster, so check back to see my predictions, comments and thoughts on how Saturday's 53 man roster will look like after the difficult decisions are made.