What to look for in Saturday night’s third preseason game, when the NY Giants come to M&T Bank Stadium.
Most people say these preseason games don’t matter, but don’t tell the players that. They play every down like it is a regular season game. The regulars don’t play as much, but when they do it is every bit as intense as during a regular season game.
The Ravens will be trying to go 3-0 this preseason and improve to 7-0 in their last 7 preseason games, dating back to the 2009 preseason.
Terrence Cody has some swelling in the knee, but Coach Harbaugh said he won’t need surgery, and can definitely play through this throughout the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens keep him out Saturday night or limit the number of his plays to insure he stays as healthy as possible. Think about all this weight that is being put on his knees.
KJ Gerard (Safety) finally returned to practice this week, and is going to have his shot to prove to the coaching staff what he can do. I was watching the Redskins broadcast of their last game, while I was in South Carolina. They said can you think of any team that has better depth at safety than the Redskins. I immediately thought yes? The team they are playing. Assuming Ed Reed plays at some point this season, they will have Reed, Landry, Zibikowski, and Nakamura as their safety crew. You tell me if you know of a better group of safeties in the NFL. With that being said, it is going to be hard for KJ Gerard to make the team, unless he can prove he can cover a receiver one on one (almost making the team as a cornerback). Everybody knows the Ravens are at trouble at the corner position, and really only have 3 locks to make the team at the position, a fourth who will most likely make the team, and some questions after that. Lardarius Webb, Chris Carr and Fabian Washington are the only locks to make the team at corner. Cary Williams will most likely make the team, as he has had a strong preseason, but we can’t forget he is suspended for the first two games of the season. As of now the 11 year veteran Travis Fisher will probably make the team by default, even though he has struggled mildly this preseason. The biggest question at the corner position has to be Prince Miller. He had an average first game against the Panthers, and struggled a little bit in the second game at Washington. I would like to see Miller go up against teams’ number two and three receivers to see what he can do. I also think Miller brings an added element to the return game while Webb is still recovering and most likely not going to be returning kicks to start the year. I like having two deep on kickoffs, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Parmele and Miller deep for the time being. I still like Stallworth and Zbikowski to return punts.
Player to Watch: Art Jones (Syracuse)
Art (Arthur) Jones is truly on the bubble, and he has a shot to make the team, if he wants to prove himself. I have been doing some lists of Mocking the 53 (not published) just like WNST executive producer Glenn Clark has been doing. Art Jones has stayed between 56-59 this whole preseason. The Ravens love Kelly Talavou, and Brandon McKinney, the two guys presumably ahead of him on the depth chart. Art Jones has to prove to the Ravens that it is worth taking him and carrying 6 DT’s or that he has a better upside than McKinney or Talavou. Assuming Ngata, Cody, and Gregg are all going to make the team, it is just a question of who behind them steps up. Just Watch Art Jones has a huge upside
Matchup to Watch: Ravens’ Front 7 against Eli Manning
Manning, who suffered a nasty gash on his forehead requiring stitches, from an inadvertent elbow by Jets Safety Jim Leonhard just two weeks ago will take the field against the blitz happy Baltimore Ravens. I am not saying the Ravens are trying to hurt Manning, but they know he is still recovering, and don’t be shocked if the Ravens send a blitz 2 plays in a series. Manning still might be recovering from this hit.
Final Score Prediction: Ravens will improve to 3-0 in the preseason with a 34-20 victory of the NY Giants