(Image Credit Geoff Burke/ USA Today Sports)
Written by: Connor Pelesh
Just like that the Ravens 2021 preseason comes to a close, but not without its highs and very bad lows. Let’s start with the positive: the Ravens broke the all-time preseason victory record at 20 consecutive wins. Tyler Huntley and the Ravens' backup wide receivers played amazing. The defense of the Ravens only surrendered a field goal just like last week and have lots of momentum heading into Vegas for Week 1. Now onto the terrible news that all around the NFL have heard: J.K. Dobbins has a torn ACL and is out for the season. Obviously, this is a big loss for the Ravens, but I want to share my thoughts in another article to really give my in-depth reaction and thoughts on the injury. Below I will recap the Ravens final preseason game and highlight players who excelled.
The game’s first offensive drive for the Ravens saw the return of Lamar Jackson on an NFL field since mid-January. Jackson hit tight end Mark Andrews for 24 yards picking right up where he left off. All of the offensive starters played the first drive as planned before the game started. Unfortunately, Dobbins was injured on a screen pass when a Washington player went low and dove at his legs. With Lamar playing just one series, it was time for Tyler Huntley to finish up the rest of the game. Huntley led the Ravens offense down the field easily and put up 23 points in the first half. The game was out of hand by the second quarter and it was obvious Huntley was much better than the second and third-team defense of Washington. Baltimore won easily 37-3 and now turn their focus to the regular season.
1. Tyler Huntley:
Ravens second-string quarterback Tyler Huntley is directly responsible for helping the Ravens break the preseason win streak and go 3-0. He took over for Lamar Jackson minutes into the first quarter and finished the game out. Huntley’s stat line reads as follows: 24/33 for 285 yards passing and 5 touchdowns (4 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing). The Ravens backup quarterback spread the ball around to a variety of receivers and tight ends. 7 Ravens had at least 2+ catches and at least 20+ yards. This impressive stat in a preseason game is directly attributed to Huntley and the way he was able to see the field. Many receivers came open in the flat and Huntley was able to deliver timely and accurate passes. He took his chances deep also with long touchdown passes to Binjimen Victor and James Proche II. Huntley was able to avoid turning the ball over which was an improvement from the other two preseason games and contributed to his clean stat line. After this performance, Huntley will backup Lamar Jackson in the regular season and be the second quarterback on the depth chart.
2. Ty’son Williams
The undrafted free agent running back out of BYU had another impressive game averaging 10.5 yards per carry. With the news of J.K. Dobbins, Williams will now be second on the running back depth chart with an opportunity to make a name for himself in the NFL. I will cover more about Williams and his upcoming chance to make an impact on this Ravens team in my J.K. Dobbins injury analysis article later this week.
3. Ravens Wide Receiver Core
Most of the Ravens starting wide receivers were out still recovering from injury, giving the remaining players another great opportunity. Binjimen Victor had the best day with 5 catches for 85 yards and a great touchdown grab in the back corner of the endzone. Even though he showed great promise, he was unfortunately left off the 53 man roster. James Proche II had his best game of the preseason with 52 yards and a touchdown catch over a Washington defender. He made the roster as the final receiver due to how well he played throughout camp and this past performance. Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace looked ready to make an impact this season showing great speed on the field. When the starters return for the regular season, this young group will look to contribute as a new and improved unit.
4. Ravens Young Defensive Backs
After most defensive starters played the first drive, the Ravens second-team defense had their moment to shine. Washington quarterbacks struggled and neither one had a completion percentage over 50%. Chris Westry and Nigel Warrior both played well vs Washington and in the other preseason games. Jimmy Smith has a mild ankle injury but if he were not to be 100%, players like Anthony Averett and Westry can step in. The play of the secondary is going to be crucial to help this young pass rush get production.
The regular season is finally here! The Ravens will travel to Las Vegas to play the Raiders on Monday Night Football (9/13). This game should be filled with big plays and will be the first time the Raiders host a regular-season game in their new stadium. The Ravens will look to spoil the party and walk away with a road victory and start the year 1-0.