Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ravens win game 2

The Ravens scraped by the New York Jets in game 2 of the preseason, 24-23.

The first team looked solid, especially the defense, frustrating Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez early on in the game. His first pass attempt was an interception by Haloti Ngata for a TD, and Sanchez took a nasty shot from Ray Lewis on the play.

The offense sputtered early on, but eventually got going, thanks to Joe Flacco. Flacco completed only 44% of his passes, but ended up with 120 passing yards after finding a rhythm with Derrick Mason (who else?), who caught 3 passes for 68 yards, including a 43 yard bomb that set up a Ray Rice touchdown on a nifty trick play where Flacco faked a quick throw, only to tuck the ball and then hand it off behind his back to Rice for he score.

On the ground the Ravens only rushed for 73 yards. Rice started with the first team and lead the way with 29 yards on 8 rushes and the TD. By the time Willis McGahee came into the game most of the starters were gone and the Jets had no problem shutting him down (23 yards on 8 attempts) and none of the other Ravens backs rushed for more than 10 yards.

The Ravens had only 56 offensive plays the entire game.

While the first team scored 21 points before halftime, 2 of the touchdowns came on defensive TD's, so it looks like the defense is still carrying this team, but you can come away impressed with the offense once they got clicking.

Needless to say, once the starters were removed, the game slowed down to a crawl.

Troy Smith looked unlike himself, staying in the pocket too long and making bad decisions, one of which ended up in an interception. He ended up 4 of 9 with 84 yards and 1 INT. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens couldn't stop Jets RB Leon Washington, who racked up 48 yards on 8 attempts. He also caught 2 passes for 35 yards and a TD.

The Ravens only gained 248 yards as a team, but the offense was finding its comfort zone around the time the starters were removed from the game. It would have been nice to see the second and third string players fare better, as we like to believe that the Ravens are extremely deep, but at least they held on to the lead and won the game, even though no one will remember the win in a couple weeks.

All in all it was typical pre-season football. Pretty boring. Still 2 more to go.

The Ravens travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers this Saturday at 8 p.m.

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