By: Karuga Koinange, Sports Editor
Raven vs Redskins
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Washington Redskins 23-3 at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday, August 10, thanks to a strong defensive effort.
The franchise has historically had good defenses, but many pundits believe this year’s group has a chance to be one of the best in team history. In its first preseason game, the defense lived up to its potential.
The Ravens won the battle in the trenches, holding the Redskins starters to negative yardage. The Redskins first series ended when defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. took down quarterback Kirk Cousins on a safety blitz.
Washington’s second series ended unsuccessfully when defensive end Brent Urban and defensive tackle Michael Pierce stormed into the backfield on third down to plug the run.
Baltimore posted a shutout in the first half, holding its opponent to just 47 yards.
The offense did not show much consistency, but Justin Tucker showed he can still carry the scoring load, nailing three field goals on the day including a 59-yard kick.
Baltimore displayed glimpses of what its defense can do in the future. If the team can get its offense to produce, they should be able to improve on last season.
Ravens vs Dolphins
The Ravens jumped to 2-0 in the preseason with a 31-7 road victory over the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium Thursday, August 17.
Ravens backup quarterback Ryan Mallett has not secured the trust of many fans with his up-and-down performances this preseason.
Mallett finished the night 13-of-22 for 113 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Baltimore’s undrafted quarterback Josh Woodrum was the story of the night with his impressive second half performance.
The Ravens entered the third quarter with a slim 13-7 lead, but Woodrum came in to put the game out of reach.
On Woodrum’s second drive he quickly marched the Ravens down the field, connecting with tight end Maxx Williams for a 40-yard catch-and-run. Woodrum finished the drive with a 14-yard rushing score off of a bootleg.
On his next drive, Woodrum picked apart Miami’s defense connecting on short passes with multiple receivers. He capped off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Woodrum finished the game completing eight of 10 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the veteran experience of Mallett, some fans in Baltimore are clamoring for Woodrum to take the backup role behind starting quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco has been shut down for the entire preseason due to a back injury he suffered while lifting weights in New Jersey.
He is expected to start week one of the regular season, but many fans worry that his injury will affect his play during the season or be reaggravated.
Mallett played well two seasons ago when Flacco was ruled out late into the year.
He helped the Ravens defeat the rival Steelers for a season sweep, but his recent incosistency has cast some doubt among fans.
Mallett will have a chance to prove he can be Flacco’s backup when the Ravens host the Bills on Thursday, August 26, at M&T Bank Stadium.
The starters should expect to play most of the first half as well, giving fans an extended preview of what is to come this season.
This will be one of the last chances for backups to make an impression on the coaches too so many players will try to put on a show.
Featured image courtesy of baltimoreravens.com.