PHILADELPHIA — As I sit here wrapping up a futile evening of unusually awful preseason football — and the bar was set pretty low to begin with — I’m just going to throw out a few random observations from tonight’s Ravens’ 13-6 loss to the Eagles here at The Linc:
The Ravens need to get on the phone and find a backup quarterback and probably sooner than later. Not unexpectedly, Tyrod Taylor stank in his NFL debut last night playing primarily with and against the usual second-teamers.
Harbaugh, who always seems to provide us with some quotes that are outlandish, had nothing but praise for Taylor. Check it out here.
Taylor is going to be mighty sore all weekend but the three interceptions were ill-timed even by preseason standards and certainly avoidable. Pray for the health of Joe Flacco, Baltimore! Or pray for someone legitimate to fall out of a tree. Call Marc Bulger. Call Brett Favre. Call someone, Ozzie!
It’s impossible to gauge how good the team is as a whole when the starters were out of the game before we blinked but it was pretty easy to see that Michael Vick and the Eagles offense were far ahead of where the Ravens defense is at this point. Vick made it look far too easy, especially against a veteran secondary and Chris Carr.
This new kickoff rule is going to ruin special teams while saving players’ health. I have a feeling many teams will go weeks without returning a kick or having to tackle anyone. And the way Billy Cundiff kicked last year, we might not see a return before Thanksgiving in Baltimore. At this rate, they should just do away with kickoffs and spot the ball at the 20 after every score.
I always forget how much the preseason sucks. The crowd isn’t into it. The announcers aren’t into it. And last night’s brand of NFL football was about the worst I’ve ever seen given the lack of OTA’s, offseason playbooks and organization that’s needed to put 22 men in motion on the field. This will be the biggest story of August — how NFL coaches pull these rosters together when many young players are baffled in their new systems.
It was nice to see Dennis Pitta contribute on a night when he had some opportunities. It’ll be even nicer when the Ravens get Ed Dickson on the field.
The Ravens’ offensive line was suspect last night and in particular Oniel Cousins stunk when I zeroed in on him when he was battling 2nd and 3rd teamers. Ray Rice had no room to run on his handful of carries and Joe Flacco was running for his life in the first quarter. This is far more disconcerting than any other facet of the team because it involved productivity, protection and the ability of Joe Flacco to be standing upright for 16 weeks.
All this said — and virtually none of my observations were positive — it was a preseason game. Don’t sweat it. It was a practice, that’s all.
We’ll have three more chances to watch bad football this month before the emotions, energy and drama of the Steelers’ visit on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.
WNST is open for business all day on Friday for phone calls, observations and civic therapy.
Feel free to vent. It’s why we’re here!