The Baltimore Ravens moved one step closer to the regular season, as the 3rd Pre-Season game is now in the books. The box score shows a 34-27 Carolina Panthers win, but with no-apparent significant injuries (pending the results of the concussion test on Tyrod Taylor); tonight can also be seen as mostly a victory for the Ravens.
That said, there will be plenty of issues to address when the film review starts tomorrow.
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1) On Carolina’s opening series, good penetration from Upshaw on 2nd down to sniff out the run. Facing 3rd and 15, Newton was forced to check down.
2) Rice started things for Baltimore with a 13 yard rush on the opening Ravens play. That came on an interesting offensive formation. On 3rd and 5, Flacco found Stokley for the 1st down underneath. Good job from the line giving Flacco time on that play. That was followed by another 1st down, on a strike out to Jones for 12 yards. Stokley added a 2nd catch for 7 yards. On 2nd and 3, Flacco found Shiancoe over the middle, that took the ball to the Carolina 9 yard line. Two Rice runs culminated the drive with a TD. Fantastic series for the Ravens, as they took the 7-0 lead. 9 plays, 69 yards… contributions across the board, highlighted by the pace of the offense, and the o-line blocking.
3) Nice 2nd and 1 tackle from Ihedigbo on Carolina’s 2nd series. On 3rd and 1, the Panthers were not able to get back to the line of scrimmage. Spears pushed the Panthers o-line back to force the 2nd Carolina punt.
4) Pierce picked up the 1st down on 2nd and 9 during the Ravens 3rd series. Good to see him back and moving well. Later on that drive, the Ravens again faced 2nd and 9. This time Flacco and Leach connected for a 6 yard gain.
5) D. Smith had another game with his name called multiple times, adding a sack early in the 2nd Quarter.
6) The Ravens faced 3rd and 13 on their first series of the 2nd Quarter. Flacco found Stokley for 27 yards down the middle.
7) Down 21-7, Flacco was able to check down to Pierce on 2nd down, setting up 3rd and 1. That was followed by 1st down grab by Doss. On 2nd and 6, Marlon Brown had a nice catch for another Ravens 1st down. Following the Osemele penalty, the line gave time for Flacco to find Brown for 17 yards on 3rd and 12. On 2nd and 11, Rice exploded through a nice hole up-front, gaining 12 yards. Reid and Gradkowski with the blocks.
8) With Carolina running the 2 minute offense as the 1st half was ending, Brandon Williams came up with a big sack on Newtown, slowing the Panthers drive.
9) The Baltimore Front-7 had good pressure in the 1st half.
10) Rainey started the 2nd half with a 31 yard KR. Rice started the possession with a 15 yard run into Carolina territory. On play-action, Flacco rolled out and found Shiancoe for 7 yards. Carolina added to the play with a penalty. With 1 on 1 coverage outside, Flacco found Brown for a 3rd time. The 12 yard catch took the ball to the Carolina 13. The drive would stall, but Baltimore did add a FG, making it 24-10.
11) Carolina’s first series of the 2nd half saw the Panthers facing 3rd and 9. Baltimore lined up Dumervil and Suggs from the same side, forcing Newton into a time out. After the time out, Ihedigbo made a nice play in pass coverage to force the punt.
12) Leach had an 8 yard reception on Baltimore’s 2nd series of the 3rd quarter. On 3rd and 1, Pierce got to the outside for the 1st down. Brown continued his huge night, with a 24 yard TD grab over the middle. He fought through the defense, and capped off the 66 yard drive for the score. This made it 24-17.
13) McClellan and Bynes combined for a nice tackle on Carolina’s 2nd series of the 3rd Quarter. Later on the drive, Cody and A. Jones pushed the pocket back and caused Newton to move. After the Elam penalty, John Simon forced the flow of the ball back inside, allowing A. Jones to complete the play. On 2nd down, Simon beat his defender off the edge. On 3rd and 14, Newton took off, with Bynes chasing down the elusive QB.
14) Taylor came in late in the 3rd Quarter, and quickly found his favorite target L. Williams for 11 yards.
15) After Taylor’s pick 6, he had a nice looking option keeper on the following series. Juszczyk was in on FB on the play. Rainey had 3 straight positive plays, with 2 runs and a catch. On 2nd and 5 from the Carolina 29, Taylor found Mellette for 9 yards. On 1st and Goal, Berry had a 10 yard TD run to make it 34-24. Not sure Berry makes the team, but he’s added to his tape this Pre-Season.
16) Down 34-24, Rainey had a 60 yard Punt Return. On 3rd and 6, Taylor showed tremendous athleticism and effort to escape multiple attempted Carolina tackles, but gained just 2 yards. (Taylor took a large hit on the play, with his helmet being knocked off. Sending him back to the locker-room for a concussion test.) Tucker’s FG made it a 1 TD game (34-27) with 7:10 left in the game.
17) DeAngelo Tyson had a nice play late in the 4th.
18) Asa Jackson had a 34 yard punt return with under a minute left to give the Ravens a couple of remaining chances.
19) Furstenburg had a catch on that last drive.
1) On the first play of the Panthers’ 2nd drive, the Ravens LB’s bit on play-action, allowing Newton to find Olsen for 16 yards.
2) The Ravens went 3 and out on their 2nd series, with Flacco and Clark unable to connect down the seam on 3rd down.
3) Flacco was brought down on a Panthers sack (Frank Alexander) on the Ravens 3rd series. Oher was beat, but it looked like Flacco had to hold the ball with no receivers finding room. Later on that series, Flacco checked down to Mellette on 3rd and 3; but the rookie receiver was not able to get the 1st.
4) After punting to end their 3rd series, Morgan Cox was called for a penalty. This had the Ravens backed-up, and punting for a 2nd time.
5) On the Ravens first series of the 2nd Quarter, Star Lotulelei beat the Ravens line (including Osemele) a couple of times. On 3rd and 10, Florence got Flacco for the 71 yard pick 6. ESPN’s Jon Gruden pointed out the replay that Tandon Doss was likely getting an earful on the sidelines. Doss was the hot receiver, and did not look for the ball quick enough.
6) The good pass protection the Ravens o-line showed on the opening series, began to fall apart during the rest of the 1st half. Too much push back, with Osemele having trouble in-particular, and being called for a penalty. Multiple lineman were called for a penalty on the 2nd Ravens drive of the 3rd Quarter.
7) Baltimore nearly had their 3rd turnover of the 1st half, with just over 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd Quarter. Facing 3rd and 8 from the Carolina 28, Flacco attempted to find Mellette. Mellette was crushed, and could not hold on. The ball bounced up, and was intercepted by Charles Godfrey.However, the play was overturned due to pass interference. While the interception did not count, it was a missed opportunity for Mellette to show he could hold on in-traffic.
7a) With the drive continuing, Flacco was picked off several plays later by Luke Kuechly. Kuechly made a nice play jumping the route, but it looked like Flacco stared down his receiver (Shiancoe).
8) Carolina was running the 2 minute offense as the 1st half was ending. On 3rd and 4 from the Ravens 44, Newton found Steve Smith for 8 yards and the 1st down. After the Williams sack, Newton picked up 10 yards on 2nd and 20. This would help set-up Gano’s FG, allowing Carolina to go to half-time up 24-7.
9) On the 1st series of the 2nd half, the Ravens had a 1st and 10 from the Carolina 13. They had to settle for a FG, when Flacco was sacked on 3rd down.
10) Simon showed well in the box, and going after Newton; but was beat by Greg Olsen for a 22 yard reception down the seam. He is going to have to show he can make plays in coverage.
11) Matt Elam bailed out Carolina with a late hit on 3rd and 4. The Panthers would have been forced to punt, and Elam provided an unnecessary hit to allow the drive to continue. Carolina would eventually cash in on the extended drive, hitting a FG to make it 27-17.
12) Harewood was called for a penalty late in the 3rd.
13) That incredibly athletic exhibition from Taylor in the middle of the 4th, led to a huge collusion, eventually sending the Ravens backup QB to the locker-room for a concussion test.
1) After punting to end their 2nd series, the Ravens allowed Carolina to the tie game at 7, with Ted Ginn Jr’s 74 yard punt return touchdown.
2) Following the Flacco pick 6, Kuechly blew up Pierce to force the fumble which was recovered by Carolina (Thomas Davis) for another Panthers TD. Two Carolina defensive scores in under a minute, giving the Panthers the 21-7 lead.
3) Taylor’s first series ended with a pick 6, with Carolina increasing their lead to 17 (34-17).