The Baltimore Ravens keep their preseason streak alive as they defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-19. In all three phases of the game there were positives and negatives to dissect, vaulting many into a lengthier conversation on their roster status while others hurt their chances.
Tyler Huntley, Quarterback
Huntley on his first drove the offense downfield in a hurry and closed out the 13-play, 75-yard drive with a crisp touchdown pass to wide receiver Tylan Wallace. Huntley’s emergence kick-started an offense that prior to his play stalled out on three occasions after three plays. He then led them on a second drive resulting in a 43-yard Justin Tucker Field goal, putting up 10 points, with the field goal being the game winner.
Zay Flowers, Wide receiver
Though the rookie receiver didn’t bless the preseason with gaudy stats, he did show off what has made him special. On one drive the Eagles secondary was penalized twice trying to corral the ever-elusive rookie. According to Harbaugh, it’s because, well, he’s good at football.
“I think if you’re hard to cover guys will tend to grab sometimes,” Harbaugh said. “That could be part of it. That’s probably the basic premise of the whole thing. He’s got great feet, great acceleration, change of direction and a good defensive back in coverage has to match that.”
The wide receiver did issue a penalty on himself though, with his first NFL unofficial snap being a false start penalty.
“I was surprised it was on me,” Flowers said with a smile that hasn’t left since being drafted. “Me and Duv was moving at the same time but they called it on me.”
Tylan Wallace, Wide receiver
A back-shoulder touchdown grab will remind the masses why you should remain on this roster, even when the team revamped the wide receiver corps in the offseason. Wallace has been steadily grinding this training camp and Harbaugh gave him his flowers.
“Tylan’s had a really good camp,” Harbaugh said. “You can see it in camp the way he was moving, the plays he was making, we talked about it before the game I was just hoping he could get some opportunities in the game cause you know he’s going to do well.”
Tyler Ott, Long snapper
The importance of meshing with Justin Tucker and Jordan Stout cannot be overstated. And for Ott to step in and immediately snap for a 60-yard field goal to end half time and execute without issue is critically important. Ott is an important mechanic in this teams’ function to ensure perfection in kicking and to benefit Stout in his punting ability. Both were seamless and it’s a credit to the veteran snapper.
John Simpson, Offensive line
The block Simpson made to seal the edge on the back side where running back Justice Hill cut to make a play was brilliant. The play wasn’t intended for the right side but with one end closed by defenders Simpson gave Hill a chance and he literally ran with it 37 yards.
Justice Hill, Running back
First-team reps for the Ravens running back room were bestowed to Hill and he made the most of them. In three attempts he produced 48 yards, including the gashing 37-yard carry.
Hill talked about the play after the game.
“Yeah, I should’ve hit the hole there, it was wide open but I got kind of blocked and so I just made something happen,” Hill said.
Travis Vokolek, Tight end
The undrafted rookie tight end has been a boon for quarterbacks throughout training camp with Huntley, Josh Johnson and Anthony Brown all targeting the 6-foot-6, 260-pound pass catcher. Tonight he nearly led all Ravens receiver with two receptions for 30 yards. Vokolek is a guy I’m sure the Ravens are wanting to hang on to for the practice squad but he’s hard to miss on the field and teams are always looking for a tight end with this kind of size they can develop.
Keaton Mitchell, Running back
It’s safe to say Mitchell will be on the radar for not only the Ravens but teams across the NFL after he demonstrated burst as a running back, pass catcher and kick returner. The Ravens persistently wanted him involved on the field and he impressed Harbaugh.
“He looked good,” Harbaugh said. “Good to see the return game. I thought the way he carried the ball was good. He got the ball North and South most of the time. Did a great job there.”
Mitchell delivered an excellent 35-yard touchdown run that will be forgotten in the history books due to a hold on offensive lineman Jaylon Thomas, but it will be on film for the Ravens to dissect and it will make it tough to not keep Mitchell on the 53-man roster.
Jordan Stout, Punter
Last season was a bit disappointing from Stout as the Ravens drafted him in the fourth round last season and he was inconsistent. Tonight, Stout was mighty consistent with booming punts that pinned the opposition in tough territory and hung around in the sky long enough to bless coverage with time to pursue. Definitely a good night to build on for the second year punter.
Kevon Seymour, Cornerback
Seymour was tasked with a lengthy preseason game as the Ravens were missing numerous defensive backs for Game 1. But in that time Seymour remained disciplined and strong in coverage. He even drew an offensive pass interference penalty as a receiver pushed off on him to make a grab.
James Proche, Wide receiver
The fourth-year wide receiver was held off the receiving stat sheet and to make matters painful he was stripped of the football on a punt return that was recovered by the Eagles. It feels the Proche hopes may be coming to a close, especially when Wallace, Duvernay and Sean Ryan had solid nights.
Ben Cleveland, Offensive Line
The fourth year offensive lineman didn’t see a snap at left guard where there is open competition. Instead, the Ravens put him at right guard and right tackle. In the first quarter Cleveland was put on a viral highlight from Jalen Carter’s first NFL snap where he dusted him from the get-go.
A not-so-good rep from Ben Cleveland— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) August 12, 2023
Josh Johnson, Quarterback
The offense was lethargic in the first half, producing three 3 & outs by halftime. They were being outpaced in yards 271-72 and at one point the Eagles had run 40 plays to the Ravens 11. Much of that felt due to the inconsistent play from Johnson. In a battle for the backup quarterback role, Johnson lost ground against Huntley.
Charlie Kolar, Tight end
Kolar needs to get more on tape and more involved in the offense that would love to have his skillset on the field. Problem is, Kolar in a one-minute offense with no timeouts opted to not get to the sideline with seconds to spare and fight for extra yardage. The second year tight end fumbled the ball and by virtue it bounced out of bounds. On the next play he caught another pass and promptly sped to the boundary, learning from his error.
Anthony Brown, Quarterback
Brown hasn’t had the best camp in the few reps he has seen. Tonight he was called on in the fourth quarter and Eagles cornerback Eli Ricks read his eyes staring toward wide receiver Sean Ryan. The rookie out of Alabama jumped the route, intercepting Brown and taking it 31 yards back for the touchdown.
Brown would finish 3-for-8 passing for seven yards and an interception. Not something you’d expect from a quarterback who stepped in last season as a third-stringer for the Ravens against the Steelers on the 1-yard line in a dire situation and clutched through.