The Baltimore Ravens will be hosting the Washington Redskins tomorrow at M&T Bank Stadium, both teams come into Week 3 of the preseason with 2-0 records. While Preseason isn’t taken too seriously by most, that third game is the one that truly matters as both teams starters tend to play the longest. The Ravens will have several players sitting out, but the rest of their “ones” should still get a good amount of snaps. Washington will get the opportunity to get more snaps for their “ones” as well, so there will be more chances to see their offense and defense. With this being the dress rehearsal, it will be a good opportunity to see which youngsters get the opportunity to play with the starters, almost an early indication as to which youngsters will play a role this season.
The Baltimore offense looks a bit different this season, it’s only preseason and no one is implementing game plans but that zone-running game will be productive this season. All of their backs have looked good, outside of Forsett and the fumbles. Gary Kubiak is bringing over that potent running game that Arian Foster thrived in over in Houston. The Ravens have a stable of backs even with Ray Rice missing the first two games of the season in Benard Pierce, Forsett, and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro. Newly acquired veteran receiver Steve Smith feels that the Baltimore offense will be very difficult to deal with this season; “With the weapons we have, I think [opponents] will have to pick their poison, I think that benefits us. You can never have too many horses in the stable. When you have that opportunity, it makes it a lot easier on the offensive coordinator.”(From a Baltimore Sun Article by Aaron Wilson)
The Ravens defense will be missing several members of the secondary, specifically their top three corners in Ladarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, and Asa Jackson. While it gives an opportunity for players to step up, it’ll be a tall task facing a talented receiving corps in Washington. Per Aaron Wilson, the Ravens starters should play into the second half. It will be interesting to see if the Washington offense can move the ball on the ground against the Baltimore defensive front. That also means more opportunities to see C.J. Mosley in coverage, the rookie linebacker has been impressive since the start of camp.
All the news in Washington has been about Robert Griffin the Third, specifically about his inability to protect himself. That noise won’t go anywhere if he takes a few big hits against this Ravens team. While that’s taken center stage, the offense has been able to move the ball well thus far. The ball is getting out much quicker in the passing game and the Redskins have a very talented receiving corps, the Ravens will definitely have their hands full. All eyes will be on the offensive line as they will have to keep Griffin upright and open holes in the run game, much easier said than done against Suggs, Ngata and company.
The Washington defense will get a very good test against Kubiak’s offense, on the ground and in the air. While the Ravens receiving corps isn’t as talented as their Washington counterparts, Baltimore has the pieces to present problems to an opposing defense. The Washington secondary will get to work against Steve and Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and a host of young physical receivers (Keep your eyes on Kamar Aiken). Everyone knows what a healthy Orakpo and Kerrigan can do, the focus will be on the interior linebackers in this one for Washington. Specifically on Keenan Robinson, the young man has looked good thus far. He’s missed the past two seasons due to injuries, while he’s not London Fletecher, he gives the Redskins something they need badly at the position, range.
What to Watch: Baltimore
- Running backs not named Ray Rice
- Secondary (especially with top 3 corners out)
- C.J. Mosley, just because the kid is very talented
- Front 7 vs Washington running game
- Passing game, Flacco specifically
- Offensive line vs Washington front 7 (specifically Kerrigan & Orakpo)
- Youngsters on defense: Brooks, Hill, Brown
What to Watch: Washington
- Running backs behind Alfred Morris
- Secondary outside of D.Hall, new members and youngsters
- Keenan Robinson and inside backer play in general
- Offensive line vs Ravens Front 7
- How defense fares against Ravens zone-blocking
- Passing game efficiency