The sole purpose of the Baltimore Ravens final preseason game was for the reserves who were trying to secure one of a very few precious roster spots to impress the coaches in their final shot at making the team. After the Ravens were beaten, 31-17 by the St. Louis Rams, there really wasn't anything definitive that made you think anyone significantly or even marginally improved their standings.
The final score was irrelevant, as the Ravens used very few of their starters, while the Rams' starters played deep into the first half. One thing was plainly obvious and that was the Rams starters were much better than the Ravens reserves. This notwithstanding, the Ravens reserves performance across the board on offense, defense and special teams was pretty awful.
(More on the Ravens reserves after the 'Jump')
There were very few players whose names could be mentioned as increasing the chance that they will make the final 53, but one of them was undrafted WR Deonte Thompson. Thompson caught six passes, including a 11-yard TD pass from QB Curtis Painter. Speaking of Painter, after throwing consecutive interceptions, including one that was returned 76 yards for a Rams TD, he settled down and had a pretty decent game, finishing with just under 200 passing yards on 19 completions in 31 attempts, but then again, while he did throw two TD passes, he also completed three to the St. Louis defenders.
Most of the defensive rookies looked, well, like rookies, missing assignments, tackles and doing nothing to improve their chances. However, most of those positions were probably already decided. Questions will remain until the final roster is released this afternoon, and then there will be that waiting period until Practice Squads are filled on Sunday.
In the meantime, the wait will be excruciating for those on the bubble, and many players will know they missed out on what could have been the perfect opportunity to make a case in their own defense.