Terrance West and Tim White scored touchdowns as the Ravens won their first pre-season game comfortably against Washington at M&T Bank Stadium. West’s TD, which saw him vault his way into the end zone on a goaline run, came at a time in the first quarter when the offense had been struggling to get going. White, meanwhile, caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Woodrum late in the third quarter to pretty much finish the game as a contest.Embed from Getty Images
Terrance West leaps into the end zone
You can read detailed reports elsewhere online but here are a few of my takeaways from the game.
- The defense looks dominant
Yes, it’s the first pre-season game, and, yes, it doesn’t mean anything but even so the defense looks excellent. They forced three sacks, got plenty of pressure on the QB and undrafted rookie Jaylen Hill got a nice interception. What’s more, this unit looks deep and continued to create problems for the Washington offense until late in the game.
- Ryan Mallett doesn’t look impressive
He’s the backup so hopefully Joe Flacco will return soon and this won’t matter but Ryan Mallett struggled in this game. He made a series of poor passes early, frequently under-throwing his receivers. In his defence, none of the Ravens expected starters at WR played last night but his problems were more about hitting the target than receivers not getting open.
- The offensive line doesn’t look horrible
Going into this game I was most worried about the offensive line. However, they looked decent in the first half. Mallett’s struggles were not the fault of the line, which gave him time to miss his receivers and did a fairly solid job of opening holes in the running game too. Let’s hope they continue to gel.
- The running game is showing progress
The Ravens ran the ball last night. After last season, you might have thought they had forgotten how but they showed a commitment to the ground game. West and undrafted rookie Taquan Mizzell both looked impressive, with the latter seeing a lot of second half action. Buck Allen looked rusty, however, with just 2.6 yards-per-carry on his eight attempts.
- Young players showing potential
The highlight of the game came late in the third when Keenan Reynolds took a punt return back 48 yards before Woodrum found White on the very next play for a 33-yard touchdown. Both plays showcased some of the young guys on this team who have lots of potential. Reynolds looked good as a returner. White, who has impressed in camp, did less well on his kick returns but won’t have hurt his chances at all with that TD catch.
Let’s just remind ourselves that this is one meaningless game and we can’t draw any real conclusions from what we saw last night. However, it was an encouraging performance and one for the team to build on as the regular season approaches.