The Baltimore Ravens are traveling to Dallas to face the Cowboys Saturday night for the second preseason game. Starters are expected to play for most of the first half, which will help the team become more prepared for the regular season.
The Ravens scored an impressive win against the San Francisco 49ers in week one with a great performance from both starters and backups. Wide receiver competition will definitely be one to watch, especially after rookie Michael Campanaro finished training camp with some notable plays. Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Marlon Brown are guaranteed to make the 53-man roster, so Campanaro will be battling a number of other receivers for one of the final spots. If he has a convincing performance against the Cowboys, his chances should look promising.
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb missed all of training camp because of a back issue and might have to miss all of preseason. Backup cornerback Asa Jackson missed the last four practices with an ankle injury, so he probably won’t play Saturday. If Chykie Brown plays better than last week, this will give him another chance to prove that he is worthy enough to stay on the roster.
It will be interesting to see how much rookie quarterback Keith Wenning will be in the game, if at all. He only played five snaps last week and backup Tyrod Taylor has recently been an extraordinary playmaker. The Ravens haven’t had three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster since 2009, so it won’t be a surprise if Wenning doesn’t make the cut. On the other hand, they might keep him since Taylor will be a free agent next year.
Running back Bernard Pierce will be one to watch Saturday night and he should be on the field long enough to show what his capabilities are. As he prepares to replace Ray Rice for two regular season games, he needs to improve his ball security. Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro should help the running back depth, especially with short yardage and goal-line situations. He was impressive last week and I expect nothing less this Saturday.
Defense was off to a slow start against the 49ers last week, so hopefully the defensive line is ready to go Saturday. Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley has proven his athleticism and ability from the beginning of camp and I don’t expect that to stop. The defense needs his help with stopping the ball carrier, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a starter early in the season. Rookie safety Terrence Brooks is another to keep an eye on against the Cowboys, and he’s shown talent in both safety and cornerback.
As the regular season quickly approaches, the Ravens are ready to continue preseason on a positive note. We should see a bigger preview of how the starting offense will work together this year and who will end up on the final roster. Younger players should also have the opportunity to show their abilities. Hopefully Saturday’s game in Dallas is just as successful as week one against the 49ers.