Preseason Game #2 – Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens 8/16/08

One step closer to the regular season. Here are some things to watch during tomorrow night’s tilt between the Ravens and everyone’s favorite party boat squad.

1. Who is the QB? – Troy Smith gets his shot to run with the “ones” this time around. He has had a poor week of practice but he does have the backing of spiritual leader Ray Lewis in his corner. I think Smith will need an impressive performance to unseat Boller in this contest. I know I’m flip flopping on this but none of the three has been impressive and at least Boller has experience.

2. Running Game – Willis “No practice” McGahee will go in for surgery but may be ready to the home opener. Everything that I’ve read on McGahee has been bad to awful. No work in the off-season, overweight, and questioned commitment from everyone. My favorite put down was that McGahee takes to practice like a vampire takes to sunlight. Ouch. Wasn’t he an All-Pro last season? Cameron wants a feature back and for now it’s Ray Rice who needs a better showing that the bonnet rattling first game against the Pats. Fullback Le’Ron McLain may actually be featured in some sets with the arrival of hard-hitting Lorenzo Neal. Keep an eye here if things don’t look good, they may need to sign a free agent for insurance.

3. No Whammies – Ed Reed and Willis McGahee are questions for the first regular season game but so far no other major injuries are a concern. Let’s keep it that way.

4. First game back in Baltimore – In an odd game similar to “Where’s Waldo?” I suggest you play “Where’s the drunk?” See how many people you can spot in the stands that were at the Purple patio at Mother’s Grille at about 10 A.M. The drunk patrol is always a concern when the game is at night but for a pre-season game, everyone will be looking to get his or her drink on.

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