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Ravens Sluggish in 23-15 Loss to Vikes

It was hard to wipe the smiles off of Ravens’ fans last night but, it wasn’t because of the team’s second preseason game instead they witnessed history as Maryland native Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal on the jumbo tron after the contest.

Actually it helped people get their minds off a fairly lackluster game for the home team. Admittedly the Ravens were missing nine starters and it showed as they had trouble moving ball and stopping the Vikings offense.

The quarterback competition was no closer to being solved as neither Troy Smith or Kyle Boller were that effective running the team and each threw a pick on their last pass of the evening. Joe Flacco looked much more comfortable in the fourth quarter and missed a possible game changing touchdown that sailed over Justin Harper’s head.

The defense looked slow to the ball last night and the secondary had it’s issues as miscommunication led to the Vikings touchdown on the first drive, Corey Ivy was beaten on the second TD and Frank “The Talker” Walker was picked on much of the first quarter. Rex Ryan’s blitzes were picked up most of the night and much of the game brought up the bad memories of how ineffective the defense could be when it fails to pressure the quarterback.

Still many questions remain, as the team will head into St. Louis to take on the Rams next Saturday. The quarterback race has been whittled down to two but who will get the call to start and in effect begin the season? Terrell Suggs is reported to be back and apparently it couldn’t come at a batter time. Will he be ready to go? All this and more as the clock ticks down to the opening bell.

Other Points of Interest

Ray Rice looked much better and showed the burst that he was drafted for. He had an impressive 42-yard scamper in the open field and capped it off with a 6 yd touchdown run. Willis who?

Derrick Martin was a bright spot as he picked off a John David Booty pass and ran it back 22 yards to paydirt. Martin needed a big play, as the secondary is awfully crowded at this point.

The offensive line had issues keeping the quarterbacks upright and Chad Slaughter especially looked awful. Depth also is a concern as Chris Chester was pushed around also. They line is going to need time to work together.

Jarret Johnson continues to emerge as a disruptive force. Dawan Landry had some shaky moments but led the team in tackles with six. Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski were solid in special teams.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier the Ravens told fans to hold tight as they were showed Michael Phelps’ last race. Phelps is a HUGE Ravens fan, so you’ll have to guess when they will honor him. Perhaps before the first game against Cincy.

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