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Dime Coverage: Ravens @ Falcons Pre-Season #1

McClellan (50) and Kindle (94) on the stop.

Well here we are again Ravens fans. I’m back to give you my thoughts, fears, and feelings about the Baltimore Ravens for another season.

So you may ask, what could you possible take away from a game that doesn’t count and the starters only played a quarter at most?

That is my challenge and I shall do my best to deliver.

I must admit though that I was flipping to check out Manny Machado’s debut in orange. Two hits for the Macho Man, including a Triple. Not bad kid.

Anyhow, some thoughts on the Ravens.

  • It was pretty clear that the Ravens played a fairly dreadful First Quarter on both sides of the ball, which means the starters. Matty Ryan had his way with Dean Pees’ unit which included two long scoring drives. The Ravens offense was anemic as the new look No-Huddle produced three Three and Outs. So on the one hand you could freak out, or on the other you can say it doesn’t count and move on. The choice is yours. I’m not all that worried yet.
  • Speaking of the offense it appears that the No-Huddle that fans have been calling for many seasons may finally be used this season. It didn’t produce the results that you would have liked but I really like it and think that it will pay off this season. Even though the offense sputtered I think Flacco looked pretty good. Some of the early problems were more Line related than anything as Flacco was frequently on the move or on his back.
  • The Offensive Line was my biggest concern heading into 2012. After tonight I don’t feel any better. Sure Matt Birk didn’t play and it showed. I like rookie Gino Gradkowski’s heart but he’s pretty undersized to play Center in the NFL. The returning Bryant McKinnie played a lot tonight and if he can play well it will really help settle things down with this group.
  • The Ravens Defensive starters were carved up pretty good by the quick strike Falcons offense. It was tough watching the now strongest unit – the secondary get beaten for some long passes. Then again it further emphasized the need for a Pass rush, a major concern without Sizzle for this season. If you can’t get any pressure on the Quarterback it doesn’t matter who you have back there.
  • Two offensive players that had big games were running back Bobby Rainey and wide receiver Deonte Thompson. (Don’t say who) Rainey looked very Rice-like on his touchdown scamper off a screen from Painter and showed nice elusiveness and burst while Thompson got behind the defense all night. Ultimately I think the Ravens will end up signing a free agent before the start of the season but you can see why they like Rainey. I do however think that his similarities to Rice will hurt him in landing a roster spot. Thompson is also in a crowded position at receiver but with Tandon Doss not seeing the field Thompson was able to seize the moment.
  • Undrafted Safety Omar Brown had a huge evening with two Fumble recoveries and an Interception. I still can’t see how he’s going to be able to crack the depth chart though here. But he may be able to catch on somewhere else.
  • Injuries are always a concern and the Ravens did not escape unscathed. DT Ryan McBean sustained a lower leg injury, RB Damien Berry also left with a minor leg issue and TE Ed Dickson suffered a shoulder sprain.
  • Hello Arizona, I mean Atlanta. I refuse to totally pick on tonight’s officiating crew. Frankly because it would be too easy. When several times you refer to a place that isn’t one of the two teams participating in the game that you are paid to keep track of you’re going to take some razzing. It’s a given. But seriously I’m very interested to see how this referee situation plays out and this could cause league wide anarchy from coaches if some blown calls lead to losses early in the season.
  • Sorry but I laughed out loud at Stan White’s attempt at a halftime interview with John Harbaugh. Coach Harbs was visibly upset about his team’s play and his one quote summed things up quite well, “I’m not happy with any of it.” as he stormed off to the locker room. White could barely get any other questions out as Harbaugh wanted words with his team. Way to hang in there Stanley.
  • Sure the starters got crushed but the reserves looked really good and while many of would say who cares I think about team depth. Baltimore may have one of its deepest teams yet and that will come in handy if they suffer any major injuries before Week One.
  • (EXTRA POINT) Sergio Kindle had three tackles. He needs to continue to impress to make the team this year and just the fact that his name was said a few times is a good start.

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2 Responses to “Dime Coverage: Ravens @ Falcons Pre-Season #1”

  1. Matt says:

    Agreed on all points. Looks like, to me, that Sergio will be significant to this team if he keeps showing up like he did last night.

  2. Let’s hope Sergio can contribute. It would be a pretty huge story if he could recover from what many thought was a career ending injury to at least help the team this season.

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