The Baltimore Ravens play in their last preseason game was one to put in the rear view mirror and move on from. It was about as miserable as a performance can get in preseason. Fortunately for John Harbaugh and his bunch, they get to go home with an opportunity to beat up on the “other” team from Maryland to make up for it.
The Ravens (1-1) will be back at M&T Bank Stadium this Saturday evening as the Washington Redskins (2-0) will make the short travel up I-95 for another preseason showdown.
Baltimore is coming off an ugly performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, and one would think that Harbaugh will have his team ready to execute against the Redskins. The number of penalties and turnovers were a recipe for disaster, and that was the outcome last week in Philly.
The Eagles are a solid football team that is going to create a lot of problems for many teams around the NFL. The Ravens won’t see a team like that unless they see Chip Kelly’s bunch in Super Bowl 50 in February. The Redskins are a team full of issues and the perfect opponent to pounce on following a terrible game.
The main issue in D.C. is the saga that surrounds quarterback Robert Griffin. RGIII is currently dealing with a concussion and his status for the game is unknown. That is not the problem, however. No one in Washington knows if he is the face of the franchise or not. Dan Snyder loves him. Jay Gruden? Not so much. James Dudko of Bleacher Report thinks that the Redskins need to put an end to the experiment and cut ties with the former Heisman Trophy winner. Count me in as one of those that agree.
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The Redskins have shown a willingness to run the ball this preseason, rushing for over 150 yards a game in their first two contests. They also have been very stout against the run, holding both their opponents under 50 yards. It should be a good matchup to watch the Ravens rush offense against the Redskins rush defense. These are two of the better units on each side of the ball and whoever wins the trenches will likely win this game.
For the Ravens, the key will be to not have all the miscues like their last time out. Joe Flacco threw two bad interceptions in the game, and the starting defense couldn’t get off the field because of penalties. The result was a 17-0 drubbing after a quarter of football, and it got worse as the game went on.
Saturday’s game will be the ninth meeting between the two franchises since 2003. The Ravens won the last preseason meeting a year ago, 23-17. Baltimore owns a 6-2 record in preseason against the Skins and a 3-2 mark in regular season play.
The matchup against the Redskins is the final tuneup for Joe Flacco and company and it will be an important one. The Ravens have to show the coordinators on both sides of the ball that they are ready to head to Denver for Week One. Another disappointing outing and the starters could find themselves on the field for the final preseason game too.
One thing is certain, it cannot get any worse than last week and they can only get better. Another showing from the first-team like the one they had against the New Orleans Saints would be fantastic. That is the effort that the Ravens coaching staff would be satisfied with closing out this preseason.
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