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Preseason Week 3: Film study from the Ravens victory over Philadelphia

Highlighting some key plays from Thursday night’s win

Baltimore Ravens v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Freddy Mercury voice— Thunderbolts and lightning, DeShon Elliot is frightening.

The Ravens continued their preseason dominance with a convincing performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. The depth that the team possesses is quite impressive, from Michael Floyd and Jaleel Scott, to Otaro Alaka and Patrick Ricard - the Ravens are deep.

Let’s hit the film room and see what we learned Thursday night.

There’s not any good reason for the Ravens to part ways with Michael Floyd or Jaleel Scott. Both have been consistently impressive throughout all of preseason in both practices and games.

‘Scott’s Tots’ couldn’t have climbed the ladder any higher to snag this ball. With Scott continuously proving himself on special teams, letting him go would be a ‘missed steak’.

Michael Floyd displays high IQ accompanied by athletic prowess. He’s on the same love with McSorley, who alerted Floyd for the quick hitter.

Floyd is efficient in his release, causing hesitation from the cornerback, then taking off and showing his tracking ability. Keep them both, Eric DeCosta.

Trace McSorley looked rattled to open the game.

He bailed from a clean pocket as opposed to climbing and throwing. This was alarming early. The Ravens then started getting Trace in space, utilizing his ball-fake wizardry on several occasions.

The play of the game, to me, was an early play action that McSorley sold perfectly, before delivering a well-timed pass to Miles Boykin. Boykin then rumbled 24 yards after the catch, and made a defender pay for tackling him. Also, note Justice Hill making sure to take out the defensive end. Pass protection was a huge questions mark for him coming out of college.

McSorley has progressed well throughout the preseason. He’s transformed from a ‘check down Charlie’ to ‘Call me Charles.’ Trace has demonstrated value as legitimate NFL quarterback as the offseason has advanced towards meaningful games.

Tyus Bowser probably won’t ever turn into a premiere pass rusher. That’s okay. He doesn’t need to be. He’s a disciplined off-ball linebacker/edge who CAN rush the passer. He can also cover, run sideline to sideline and be yet another chess piece for Wink Martindale to attack offenses with. He knows that he’s a superior athlete with great range, so as opposed to over-pursuing, Bowser is patient. He lets play calls show their true hand. Once he’s diagnosed what’s happening, he demonstrates a nice blend of efficiency and violence.

Many clamor for Bowser to “switch to inside linebacker” but his skill set is more effective at the LOS. He has a bevy of pass rushing moves, often using an outside rip and dip, converting speed to power, or pretends to run the arc before crossing the tackles face and crashing the pocket.

He will be an integral part of the Ravens defense moving forward.

Tim Williams will also be a major key and deserves 500+ snaps this season. He’s been disruptive across various situations. The best way to describe the way Williams attacks blockers and ball carries is ‘controlled chaos’. He’s like a Tasmanian Devil at the LOS, hand fighting, rushing, contorting and rapidly moving his feet. He’s been rock solid throughout preseason.

His increased ability to set the edge has been a work in progress since he was drafted, and all of his hard work is paying off. Bowser and Williams both have great closing speed. They dare ball carriers to race them to the sideline and into the waiting arms of Patrick Onwuasor, Kenny Young, Marlon Humphrey, DeShon Elliott and Tony Jefferson.

I wouldn’t call Matt Skura’s performance ‘dominant’. I don’t have much to show you that will catch your eye, but that’s a good thing. Skura looks comfortable and in control. He’s seemingly strengthened his trunk, and is anchoring better. As a smaller lineman, Skura is learning to use angles and hand placement to be more effective.

Once his night ended, Patrick Mekari took over snapping duties. The Ravens employed a slew of different offensive line combinations. Ben Powers and Bradley Bozeman played nearly the entire game, clearly an intentional test by the coaching staff. Powers is flying under the radar despite solid play, particularly in pass prottection.

Mekari is yet to allow a pressure through three preseason games, one of only two rookies to accomplish that feat.

Mekari’s area of improvement needs to be climbing to the second level. He’s reaching too quickly, allowing linebackers to make one explosive movement to escape his momentum. He gets ahead of the play a touch, but is also somewhat new to the center and guard positions, as he mainly played tackle for California.

Bozeman’s roster spot should be in question, as Greg Senat, Mekari, Eluemunor and Powers deserve to be second-team players. Bozeman has been relatively unimpressive. His technique hasn’t improved, and his athletic ceiling seems to have been achieved already. At best, he’s a serviceable 8th lineman and backup center.

Chris Wormley must’ve eaten too many of Daylon Mack’s Cinnabons this week. He looked sluggish and struggled to push the pocket last night. He’s a far better run defender than pass rusher. He always maintains the LOS, which allows him to make plays in the run game. When he struggles, he simply plays patty-cake with lineman, not attempting to pull their jersey or swipe their hands to continue advancing. If he doesn’t beat his block initially he gives up, and tries to swat passes down.

Final Thoughts:

1) Justice Hill is probably going to push Kenneth Dixon off the roster. His ability to stay within the play design, yet still be so creative at how to attack defenders is awe inspiring. He’s patient, while also operating at a rapid pace. His style reminds me of a young Marshall Faulk. He’s tough for his size, smooth and slippery. He turns negative plays into small gains regularly.

2) Marlon Humphrey is a bad man. Best run defending corner in the NFL.

3) Zach Sieler and Gerald Willis haven’t seen much action lately. They aren’t going to make the opening day roster.

4) Once the Ravens buckle down and settle on a starter (hopefully not James Hurst) at left guard, they will solidify as a unit. Greg Roman’s scheme will allow them to play beyond their talent and exceed expectations.

5) DeShon Elliott, Kenny Young, Marlon Humphrey and Patrick Onwuasor are tone setters on the defensive side of the ball. This Ravens defense pops pads more than in years past. The unit isn’t going to falter as pundits have lazily predicted simply because two past their prime players, one good linebacker, and one good pass rusher left in free agency.


*SHOULD* Trace McSorley make the opening day roster

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (501 votes)
  • 4%
    (28 votes)
  • 11%
    Can’t decide, that’s why DeCosta gets paid
    (71 votes)
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