It was a running back show in Baltimore as the Baltimore Ravens close week 1 in the preseason against the Carolina Panthers. Ravens running backs in Terrance West, Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon all showed flashes of big plays during the game which creates a great problem to have for the Ravens coaching staff.
West finished the game with nine carries for 25 yards with two touchdowns to go along with one reception for seven yards. Dixon finished the game with nine carries for 44 yards with 19 yards coming on his first carry of the game. While Buck Allen only rushed for six yards on six carries, he hauled in a 19 yard touchdown reception.
Ravens backup quarterback Ryan Mallett only played in the first half and completed 11/15 passes for 91 yards with one touchdown and one interception (interception was off of a TE/WR Darren Waller drop). Ravens third string quarterback Josh Johnson completed 8/11 passes for 83 yards.
Ravens rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley played a good portion of the first half and during his time on the field, he showed his talent. Stanley was able to flush opposing pass rushers away from Mallett and was able to create running lanes on the left side of the offensive line. The Ravens offensive line as a unit only allowed one sack.
Young players on the Ravens defense shine
Ravens second year outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was able to cause a strip sack against Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson on the Panthers second drive of the game. Smith’s production as the backup pass rusher behind Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil be vital for the Ravens going forward.
Ravens rookie on the defensive side of the ball showed promise. Outside linebacker Matt Judon showed impressive skills on the edge as he was able to contain opposing runners by either stopping them for no gain or a loss of yardage on two separate occasions. Ravens defensive lineman Willie Henry was explosive off of the snap on a couple of occasions by drawing a tackle for loss and a sharing a sack with Judon on Panthers quarterback Joe Webb.
Overall on defense, the unit had three sacks, one forced fumble, four tackles for losses, six pass defensed and eight quarterback hits.
Second year players on the Ravens offense who will miss time early in the regular season are a focal point in the passing game
Despite the fact that Ravens tight end Nick Boyle will be suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 regular season and Waller is suspended for the first four weeks of the 2016 regular season, both players saw a lot of playing time. Boyle caught two receptions for 33 yards to along with a touchdown reception on a two point conversion. Waller hauled in five receptions for 48 yards.
Ravens offense: 288 yards (173 passing and 115 rushing)
Ravens defense: 282 yards (201 passing and 81 rushing)
What is next?
Next week, the Ravens will travel on the road in week 2 of the preseason to take on the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, August 20th.