The Baltimore Ravens beat the New Orleans Saints 22-13 last night to finish off preseason play. This is the first time since 2009 that the Ravens have gone undefeated in preseason. What makes this disappointing is that preseason record doesn’t count. But even though the record doesn’t count there are positive aspects to a winning preseason. Getting to see the lesser known players do their thing helps the coaches to make final roster cuts.
Back up quarterback Tyrod Taylor played pretty well throughout his time in the game throwing just one interception. Taylor went 10-17 with 105 yards through the air. He also had one touchdown in the game. Taylor led the Ravens to four scoring drives. While he didn’t have several touchdowns he managed the game well and showed that he can play some ball.
Deonte Thompson looked impressive as he picked up his third touchdown catch in three preseason games. Thompson is looking to make his spot on the roster. Final roster cuts to bring the number of players from 75 to 53 will be on Saturday. The Ravens want to keep six receivers on the roster and I think Thompson has made his point to the coaches that he should stay.
Running back Ray Rice did not play in last night’s game. Bernard Pierce also did not play due to a concussion he suffered during last Saturdays game against the Washington Redskins. Because of these absences, the backfield was left open to rookies Lorenzo Taliafeero and Fitzgerald Toussaint. Laliafeero had 23 carries for 86 yards while Toussaint rushed for 103 yards on just 16 carries. I watched Toussaint play multiple times in college at the University of Michigan and this guy knows how to play. It will be interesting to see how his career turns out in Baltimore.
Kicker Justin Tucker had four field goals on the night including a 49-yard attempt which would be his longest on the night.
The defense played really well against a Saints offense that has been playing at a high level despite missing quarterback Drew Brees. Their only touchdown came on a three-yard pass in the first quarter that gave the lead to the Saints at 7-3. I’m happy with the way the defense played especially considering all the issues we’ve had at the cornerback position, only giving up one touchdown in the entire game is pretty impressive in my eyes.
Newly acquired cornerback Derek Cox made an appearance in the game during the second half. Cox was signed to the team on Wednesday so it’s understandable why he didn’t have much of an impact, only having one tackle on the night. Having to learn a whole new defensive scheme in one day is pretty tough. Cox was released from the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the week. He struggled last year with the San Diego Chargers, being benched several times before he was finally replaced. I hope he can turn his slump around and help out an already struggling secondary to keep our defense good all around. With the return of Lardarious Webb, Jimmy Smith, and Asa Jackson maybe Cox can stay on the roster and be a good part of the Ravens secondary.
The Ravens face off against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday in Baltimore at 12 p.m. eastern time.