What to Look for Against the Ravens


August 9, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi (96) in the game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens beat the Falcons 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens supply a little bit of a different look than the Bengals did for this upcoming preseason game.  With these new challenges comes new things to look for in that the Bengals and Ravens are very different teams.

The starters vs. the Bengals did a good job being able to move up the field against a strong defense.  They did this without Julio Jones and only threw to Roddy twice.  Steven Jackson had a hard time, but he was tested by going up the gut Turner style against a mammoth D-line.  I’m not convinced Adrian Peterson would have much luck with that.  (Okay, he probably would)  The Ravens aren’t a whole lot different up the middle with the exception of a less experienced middle linebacker.  On the outside with Terrell Suggs makes it difficult to run on the outside as well, but we’ll still see Steven Jackson get tested and don’t complain when you see him run it up the gut for a no gain, we’re seeing what we can work with here.

Julio Jones is back and this will be the first time we see some of the great Matt Ryan-Julio Jones chemistry with live speed and contact.  We’re bound to be impressed.  The Ravens still has a strong defense so it won’t be easy to move around on them.  Tomorrow we’ll get to see what Matt Ryan makes of it.

The Ravens offense is a bit better than Cincinnati’s.  As much as I pick on Flacco for not being better than Matt Ryan, he’s still a very good quarterback.  Even without Boldin and Pitta, He has weapons and a good arm.  He’ll be successful this season no doubt.  Watch Trufant, Samuel, and Alford against this guy and we’ll get a real good idea on where these players stand in their progression.

Ray Rice is also one of the best running back in the league while the offensive line isn’t very shabby.  Last week, with the exception of a single missed tackle, the Falcons defense shut down the Bengals run game.  We’ll get a good look this week at how well the line play the run.  Even without Sean Weatherspoon, they are going to have to control the trenches.

Speaking of lines, Osi and Massaquoi were dominating last week.  This week, they will both have to play just as well.  Keep an eye on these young and veteran ends.

Last but not least, the Falcons will probably lose.  DON’T. PANIC.  There is no game plan this week.  All it is for coaches is to see how the starters perform physically and skillfully.  Mike Smith is looking for quality, not a win.  So STAHP looking at a preseason loss as a bad thing.  Seriously, stop it.