Ravens stock report: Game two
Game two and the home opener are in the books. The Ravens improve to 2-0 on the preseason with a 27-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons. If you want to get technical, the Ravens first team lost 23-7, while the second and third team won 20-0. Either way, it was a tale of two halves. The worst half of football coach Harbaugh has seen in a while, if ever. Then a resilient comeback where the team excelled in all three phases. Here’s the guys who helped and hurt their cases for roles on this team last night.
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Tandon Doss – Two weeks in a row he makes my stock down list, since I grouped all the receivers together last week. Doss didn’t show anything on special teams, stutter stepping to a mere five yard gain on a punt return. Then a fumble that was ultimately ruled a dropped pass. Either way it should have been a catch and run for a first down. His 4th quarter TD was nothing special and too little too late, in my opinion.
Visanthe Shiancoe – If he cared about catching the football as much as he cares about how to pronounce his name this week, he would be the best is the business. It’s a prima donna act that I’m not sure anyone finds amusing. If he caught 100 balls a year, he could change his name on an hourly basis for all I care. Until then, Ocho Uno didn’t do himself any favors with his two easy drops last night. Dallas Clark brings a better history and hands with him, Billy Bajema made a nice catch and run and is a blocker, and Matt Furstenburg caught two balls last night and would also be a local favorite to root for coming from College Park. I have no room for Visanthe Shiancoe, especially when Ed Dickson is healthy again.
Laquan Williams – Just as quickly as his stock rose after game one, it fell after last night. A drop, a poor play where he appeared to run the wrong route leading to an INT. Also cost the Ravens a possession when a running into the kicker penalty gave the Falcons a new set of downs.
Jimmy Smith – Julio Jones got the best of Smith on a few occasions. Then again, Julio Jones is going to get the better of a lot of defensive backs this year. Do you give a pass to Smith given the receiver he was asked to cover? Maybe, but then he gave up a first down catch to a second teamer that we’ll never hear about again.
Worth mentioning: Caleb Hanie didn’t see the field once. Maybe he plays the majority of game four so that nothing happens to Flacco or Taylor. After that, I think he’s gone. That game four would be his audition for another team looking for a backup.
Aaron Mellette – Two weeks in a row he’s moving up. Tandon Doss is on the down. Deonte Thompson didn’t play. Mellette, with his second TD in as many games is up as far as WR4 on my depth chart now. Hopefully that “lazy” episode coach called him out for in practice was an isolated incident. He’s getting it done in the games, which is where it matters most.
Arthur Brown – We saw the strengths we’ve only read about up to this point. He made a nice tackle for loss, and then he showed off his range, getting to the sideline to slow a runner down allowing the tackle to be made short of the first down. The broadcast team mentioned that in game one, Brown was so worried about doing the right things fundamentally that he was a bit slower, which is why we never saw him near a play. He appeared to let loose in game two last night. He should loosen up more often. Josh Bynes has yet to really show me anything in the last two weeks. This battle just got pretty even.
John Simon – He showed off his pass rushing skills, getting around the edge chasing down a scrambling QB. A few plays later he executed a Michael McCrary like spin move to beat his man and pick up a sack.
Honorable mention: Asa Jackson maybe the best CB on the team other than Lardarius Webb. Unfortunately he’ll be usless for the first half of the season. Jimmy Smith may get an eight game tryout where without improvement, Jackson could take over. Chykie Brown improved after a bad game one. He shut down Roddy White preventing a TD catch (pictured above). Jacoby Jones made a catch in traffic, took a big hit and held onto the ball. He also was blocking for Torrey Smith on his TD catch and run.