Preseason Week Two: Observations

Baltimore Ravens

Bernard Pierce
In his first preseason game Pierce looked great.  The box score will say he had 4 rushes for 1 yard but that is lowered by one rush for -14 yards where the offensive line decided not to block anyone.  Before that rush he had 15 yards and 3 rushes against the Detroit Lions starting defense.  Pierce helped solidify his role as the number 2 back for the Ravens.

Tyrod Taylor
Taylor looked awful throwing the ball last night, he went 8-22 for 65 yards.  If Taylor wants to keep the backup QB job he has to do better than that.  Yes, he rushed for 60 yards on 7 attempts but he would drop back and if his first target wasn’t open he would run.  The good news for Taylor is Curtis Painter didn’t play very well either.  If Joe Flacco goes down with an injury it will be a long year for the Ravens if Taylor and Painter don’t get their act together.

Hurry up offense
Call it whatever you want, the starters looked good running it.  Flacco looked comfortable running it and he should as he pushed for this to happen.  The Ravens moved the ball well but were stopped by dropped passes (again).  Jacoby Jones dropped an easy one and LaQuan Williams missed at least one.  With Torrey Smith out due to his ankle, Flacco looked to LaQuan Williams a lot. This offense should be better with everyone healthy but they need to improve in the red zone.

Damien Berry
Berry had a good game last night showcasing why he should be kept as the number 3 RB.  As of right now I would say he is the number 4 back but that could keep him on the team or at least the practice squad again.  Last night Berry had 3 rushes for 13 yards and led the Ravens with 6 catches for 59 yards.

Bobby Rainey
Rainey again impressed last night in more than one way.  The way he moved around after he had the ball was very reminiscent of Ray Rice.  He only had 3 rushes for 3 yards but he found other ways to contribute.  He caught 4 passes for 20 yards, returned 1 punt for 8 yards, and returned 2 kickoffs for 43 yards.  Rainey is finding a way to make this team and right now I would say he is the number 3 RB.

Anthony Allen
Allen struggled again last night and is not making a case to stay on this team.  He had 1 rush for -2 yards, 1 catch for 12 yards, and gave up a sack.  The sack is very important because that makes 2 sacks in as many weeks that he has given up.  Pass protection is key for RBs trying to make the team and he isn’t good at it.  Also, Berry and Rainey contribute on special teams well and Allen doesn’t.  To make this team Allen needs a great showing in week 4.

Omar Brown
Omar Brown is always near the ball and makes the most of it.  Week one he has a pick and 2 fumble recoveries.  This week he recovered another fumble and recovered an onside kick.  He didn’t record a tackle but his nose for the ball could help him make the team.

Maake Kemoeatu
Kemoeatu is going to be an important part of the Ravens rotation on the defensive line.  He started last night due to a minor hip injury for Terrence Cody and made the most of it.  He made 2 tackles including 1 for a lose where he stopped a run play dead about 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Deonte Thompson
Thompson was on the field a lot on offense but didn’t record a catch despite 5 targets.  However, he returned 1 kick for 42 yards and would have gone all the way if not for just stepping out of bounds.  Also on the play was a hold but it didn’t really help spring him lose.  Thompson is making a strong case to make this team and I would say he is a better kick returner than Jacoby Jones.

Asa Jackson
This years 5th round pick had a great all around game for the Ravens.  On defense he had 3 tackles and tipped 1 pass away.  Even more important though was his 40 yard punt return.  It was about an 80 yard return for a TD weaving across the field but like Thompson’s it was called back for a hold.  Jackson was by far the best punt returner for the Ravens last night.

Nigel Carr
Carr, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama St, led the Ravens in tackles.  When on defense he was constantly near the ball carrier making plays.  On special teams he was called for a hold which will be important because to make the team as a backup LB you will need to contribute on special teams.  It will be interesting to see how he plays in week 4.

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