Thoughts And Observations: Ravens Vs. Falcons Preseason Week 2

Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons - Preseason Week 2 -- Tyrod Taylor

Written by BSR Contributor: Cody Colston

Hey all! I’m filling in for Matt Lund for your weekly Ravens’ post game thoughts and observations. The Ravens narrowly beat the Falcons 27 to 23; the Falcons scored 20 unanswered points after the first team defense struggled. The first team offense could not keep up and was only able to score 7 points in the first half. “That was the worst first half of football I’ve ever seen,” head coach John Harbaugh said of the first half. In the second half, the Ravens’ second string offense scored 20 unanswered points to win the game. I completely agree with what Harbaugh said but let’s break down the game as a whole, not just point fingers at the offense.

Offensive Line Looked Lost During The Run

Ray Rice managed 10 yards on 8 attempts. It’s pretty hard to get anymore yardage when you’re facing a defender in the back field on every snap. The line looked like it is missing the presence of Pro Bowl guard Marshall Yanda. His replacement, until he returns, Jah Reid, looked stiff at Guard and I wish the coaching staff would stop trying to play him there, at 6’ 7” he belongs playing Tackle. A.Q. Shipley got the start on the first team and looked exactly what he was picked up for, depth. Shipley was called for two penalties for 20 yards. Gradkowski came in after the first half and looked sharp, hard to believe he won’t get the starting job. Most of the lines problems came run-blocking, but during passing situations Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor were almost untouched.

The Secondary Was Picked On

A high octane passing offense consisting of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White did exactly what you would expect them to do, pass the ball, and the Ravens couldn’t do anything about it. Julio Jones beat Corner Jimmy Smith for three catches, 55 yards, and a touchdown. Most of the big plays by the Falcons seemed to come from the underneath pass or over the middle, not a good sign for the Ravens’ safeties. The only bright spots on the Ravens’ secondary were corner Chykie Brown and rookie Matt Elam; both always seemed to be around the ball.

ILBs Keep Looking Strong

Daryl Smith is out to prove something, racking up six tackles and one pass deflection. Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan also recorded five tackles. Arthur Brown and Adrian Hamilton were mixed in as well. All of them are very good at swarming to the ball and clogging holes up the middle. Very strong linebacker play from the Ravens almost makes you forget about the retirement of Ray Lewis. Smith and Bynes seem to be the favorite to start if Jameel McClain’s recovery takes longer than expected.

Wide Receivers Still Looking Lost

Three catches out of 12 targets for wide receivers not named Torrey Smith. Jacoby Jones was out of position and that caused Flacco’s only interception. Tandon Doss had a great catch over the middle that he fumbled but was overturned; he ended the night with a five yard catch for a touchdown. LaQuan Williams almost had an amazing catch over a Falcons defensive back but a costly route running error later in the game caused an interception in the red zone. Recent signee Brandon Stokley lined up a couple times in the slot but did not catch anything and was not targeted. This is a huge question mark for the Ravens offense moving forward.

Other Notes

  • Tyrod Taylor keeps on impressing, 83 yards passing and two touchdowns including a 40-yard bomb to Aaron Mellette. The Ravens used a lot of option plays with Taylor which resulted in 5 carries for 15 yards. “I like it because it put pressure on the defense,” Taylor said of the options.
  • Matt Furstenberg had 2 catches for 23 yards and looked more impressive than veteran Visanthe Shiancoe, who dropped his only target on the first drive of the game. Dallas Clark has yet to been seen on the field with the Ravens.
  • Ohio State OLB John Simon got his first sack on QB Sean Renfree. Simon was thought to be a steal when drafted, coming off a year where he won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Simon finished the game with five tackles and a sack.
  • Asa Jackson returned a punt for a 77-yard touchdown. Jackson was suspended the first 8 games of the season for his second violation of the NFL’s PED policy. Jackson finished the game with a team leading seven tackles and played very good coverage for the small amount of time he played.
  • Kyle “Juice” Juszczyk saw more time in the back field and even caught a pass for 15 yards from Tyrod Taylor. “Juice” seems like a capable blocker, it’ll be interesting to see how he’s used for the remainder of the preseason and the regular season.

Follow Cody on Twitter @The_OtherCody.

Cody Colston is an aspiring sports journalist that looks to offer what other sports writers can't. He's a born and bred Baltimore sports fan that also loves the Washington Capitals and Wizards. Some say he's a sports addict, but he would argue he's way more devoted than that.

15 Comments

  1. MGW

    August 16, 2013 at 6:38 am

    The Achilles heel of this team will be their defensive backfield. Jimmy Smith is a bust and Webb is an overpaid, mediocre back.

    • Cody Colston

      August 16, 2013 at 7:06 am

      I’d give Smith this year to prove himself before he gets the bust tag, How is Webb mediocre? His best year, 2011, a TD wasn’t thrown against him and he was a similar case to Flacco. He had a really good year in a contract year. Ozzie normally doesn’t shell-out long term contracts and money if the player isn’t worth it.

      • Spy

        August 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

        Remember Foxworth , enought said about ozzie and contracts,,,,,,,,,,now for the secondary , if you recall Webb played on the same side as Reed , the ball wasn’t thrown their way much but it wasn;t because of Webb and he gets cought looking into the backfield too much just like Smith who is a bust , if you can’t see that you are not watching,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,MGW says he is a baseball man but he is right on with this one Cody……………..

        • Cody Colston

          August 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm

          I remember Foxworth, Carr, and Samari Rolle. Ozzie will sign guys cheap (Which Foxworth,Carr, and Rolle were at the time they were signed) if he thinks they can help.Reed wasn’t limited to play on what side Webb was on, Reed played in the middle of the field and followed the QB, what a Safety should do. I said, *I* wouldn’t call Smith a bust just yet, the third year is normally the biggest for a player and some guys are just late bloomers, Ex. Tommy Maddox.

    • 9inchnails

      August 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Medocre, that is a compliment. Whomever decided to give him that contract should be banished to Dundalk for a year…

  2. JarJar

    August 16, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Other Notes:

    Oh yeah, Flacco has another pick…

    • Cody Colston

      August 16, 2013 at 7:09 am

      That wasn’t all on Flacco. Jones ran a bad route, Flacco threw the ball, it was deflected up in the air, and it got picked. Flacco should have made a better decision, but Jones should have ran the correct route. Both get the blame in my book.

      • JarJar

        August 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

        I agree, but we didn’t just sign Jones to 120m long term contract.

        • Cody Colston

          August 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

          True, but I wouldn’t be worried about stuff like that happening until the regular season. Starters don’t normally give their all during preseason.

        • Spy

          August 16, 2013 at 9:50 am

          But Jones isn’t worth six million either , both may be over paid,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Jones for sure he is a receiver with bad hands , that’s like your number four hitter with carpal tunnel,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          • JarJar

            August 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

            Its Flacco’s insane contract that hurt us from keeping well….any good receivers. This contract will be akin to when we traded Schilling for Glenn Davis.

          • Spy

            August 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

            Jar Jar, please pay attention from now on , it will help you enjoy the game better,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Foxworth signed a four year 28 million dollar contract , that’s seven million a year , that’s more than Boldin got , he was overpaid in the eyes of Forbe’s,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Flacco’s contract is ‘cap friendly’ this year , so bone up on your facts man,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  3. Pingback: DL John Simon - 2012 B1G DPOY (Baltimore Ravens) - Page 62 - BuckeyePlanet Ohio State Forums

  4. Pingback: DL John Simon - 2012 B1G DPOY (Baltimore Ravens) - Page 62 - BuckeyePlanet Ohio State Forums

  5. 9inchnails

    August 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Here’s a thought…GO ORIOLES!