I’m not the kind to pass judgment on any team based on anything I see in the preseason. Schemes, game plans and “real” football are never really seen in August but my eyes see a few things that are disconcerting for any Ravens fan.
First, the offensive line is suspect and that’s a foundation item that seems to get lost on most NFL fans until the quarterback is running for his life and imminently unproductive. There’s no way the Ravens will be effective on offense if Joe Flacco is constantly scrambling like we’ve seen for the better part of three quarters in the past eight days.
What’s even worse is how dreadful the backups and “hope for the future” have been in protecting for Tyrod Taylor, who really isn’t being given a fair shot when he’s getting chased on every play as well.
Against the Chiefs last night, Flacco was ineffective through most of the first half and was consistently overthrowing receivers who either didn’t have their timing down or just couldn’t get to the passes. Anquan Boldin looked frighteningly slow on a few of the passes but Lee Evans had some productivity in his reps vs. Kansas City.
I suppose we’ll see more in the pivotal third preseason game next Thursday night against the Redskins but count me in the club that needs to see more consistent protection – including the anchor of Michael Oher on the left side — to be bullish on the Ravens’ playoff hopes in 2011.
As for the defense, when Ray Lewis doesn’t get off the bus it’s exceedingly difficult to assess the first team. Ed Reed made a nice play. Some of the backups like Sergio Kindle and Pernell McPhee made some noise but for the most part it was more ugly preseason football.