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Ravens News 8/30: Stock watch, roster breakdown and more

NFL: AUG 22 Preseason - Ravens at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Is the Ravens’ 4-year preseason winning streak as great as it sounds? - Adam Stites

Does the Ravens’ preseason win streak matter?

Remember that 8-2 record the Ravens have in September games since 2016? Well, they’re 3-10 in October over that same span.

Overall, Baltimore is 36-12 in preseason during his tenure. Here’s the Ravens’ regular season record in each month since 2008:

September: 25-12 (0.676)

October: 17-25 (0.405)

November: 32-13 (0.711)

December: 27-20 (0.574)

January: 3-2 (0.600)

It sure looks like the Ravens have an October problem. Then again, it’s offset by Baltimore being great in September and November.

Is the preseason why the Ravens tend to slow down a few weeks into the season? Perhaps. But Harbaugh has a 104-72 record in the regular season and has led the Ravens to the playoffs seven times in 11 seasons — including a win in Super Bowl 47.

Trying to gear up for the regular season by winning in August is working out for the Ravens. Don’t expect it to stop as long as Harbaugh’s in charge.

Stock Watch: Ravens vs. Redskins - Garrett Downing

RB Kenneth Dixon

Dixon got the start against Washington and showed the smooth running style that the Ravens liked so much when drafting him out of Louisiana Tech. It was a strong evening, and he finished with 13 carries for 66 yards. The Ravens may have given him a heavy workload to see how he handled it, or to showcase him to another team. The Ravens have a crowded backfield with Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, but with the way they want to pound the ball on the ground, Dixon may convince the front office to keep four running backs.

LB Otara Alaka

He showed good speed chasing down a tackle on the first play from scrimmage of the game and delivered a few hard hits over the course of the night. Alaka is behind Patrick Onwuasor, Chris Board and Kenny Young on the depth chart, and he could find himself on the practice squad if not the 53-man roster. Alaka did get looked at by the medical staff in the third quarter, so his health could impact his status on the roster.

The Breakdown: Eisenberg Predicts the 53-Man Roster - John Eisenberg

Running back: (4) Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Kenneth Dixon

Skinny: The Ravens don’t usually keep four, but given their offensive style with Jackson at quarterback, the need for quality running back depth is heightened. Dixon is the only one whose job isn’t secure, and he could be a trade candidate if the right offer comes. But teams don’t like to lose talented players, and Dixon could go somewhere and rush for a thousand yards. Tyler Ervin returned punts well enough to stick, but jobs are so tight this year that the Ravens need their returners to have other roles, so Cyrus Jones, in the mix at slot corner, gets that job.

Cornerback: (7) Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Anthony Averett, Justin Bethel, Cyrus Jones, Maurice Canady

Skinny: The first four are locks, and I think Bethel and Jones are, too, because of what they can do on special teams. But Bethel likely won’t take snaps at corner, and it’s also unclear how many Jones will take even though he has gotten a long look at slot corner in the preseason. That’s why I have Canady making it – just ahead of safety Brynden Trawick, by the way. With Tavon Young out and some of the other depth at this position making it for special teams, there’s a need for an experienced corner as insurance.

2019 NFL season: How teams reach their 53-man rosters - Charley Casserly

The final preseason games are played on a Thursday, and the work really jumps to the next level on Friday.

The itinerary would go like this: Coaches graded Thursday’s game tape in the morning, while players with injuries reported to the team trainer, who then gave reports to the head coach and GM. The staff would meet to discuss and ultimately decide which players to recommend keeping or cutting to the head coach and GM, either later on Friday or on Saturday.

Saturday is the busiest and BIGGEST day of the final-cut weekend. Teams generally get a practice in and are joined by players who are on the roster bubble or are being considered for the practice squad. Players who didn’t make the final 53-man roster are cut, which involves being contacted by a team representative (like a scout, coaching assistant or assistant GM) and asked to meet with his position coach. After learning the news, the player meets with the trainer/doctor, followed by meetings with the head coach and GM. Players are also to

ld whether or not they’ll be back on the practice squad or targeted to be claimed and placed on the opening-day roster.