The Baltimore Ravens have seemingly been caught in a tale of two preseasons; whenever the defense has been on the field, things have looked great while they’ve looked fairly awful when the offense has taken over with a few exceptions. While Ravens fans are used to that reality, Bleacher Report NFL writer Brad Gagnon seems to think that has been a positive for Baltimore this August.
Writing an article grading each team’s preseason performance, Gagnon gave the Ravens a “B” grade, writing about just how impressive the defense has been, especially in first team situations:
The Baltimore Ravens surrendered 19 points in their first three preseason games combined, with none of those points coming against first-teamers. Nine drives, nine punts. And I know, "it's just the preseason," but that's what we're here to assess.
It's a little concerning that quarterback Joe Flacco has been out all month with a bad back, but head coach John Harbaugh continues to insist—per ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley—the veteran will be back in time for the start of the regular season. Still, the offense struggled without him, and the running game, receiving corps and offensive line all face questions entering September.
The good outweighs the bad, but it's been a good-news/bad-news preseason in Baltimore.
This seems to be a very fair assessment by Gagnon as the defense has been nothing short of lights out while the offense has been the definition of lights on, to an even higher degree when second string quarterback Ryan Mallett has been in the game with the starters. The fact that the team has only surrendered 19 points through three games shows how deep Baltimore is on that side of the ball, and hopefully carries over into regular season play.
If the offense is able to get into a rhythm early when Flacco returns, a positive start to the season could certainly be expected from the Ravens. Here’s to hoping that he returns to practice soon so that can happen sooner rather than later.