The Ravens’ preseason will have no shortage of star power, and there are some interesting storylines to accompany the big names.
The first of the four games is a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII, and the Harbaugh Bowl Pt. II will take place on Thursday, August 7 at M&T Bank Stadium. Although the game is on the opposite side of the spectrum as far as importance is concerned, the matchup is one that always carries with it an undertone of physicality. Some things that will be exciting to see will be the offensive line’s adjustment/growth in Kubiak’s offense, and the first opportunity to see Steve Smith Sr., Owen Daniels, Jeremy Zuttah and the 2014 draft class in uniform.
The Ravens will follow up their matchup against the 49ers with a contest in the world’s biggest stadium, as the team heads south to Dallas to square off against Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys will have a lot to prove coming off of another season that fell short of the postseason, and it will be the first time in years that “America’s Team” (*in the most sarcastic voice possible*) will line up on defense without Demarcus Ware, who Jerry Jones released to get under the salary cap. The Cowboys were porous against the run last season, and many expect them to address the offensive line in the first round of May’s draft.
After their trip to Dallas, the Ravens return back to Baltimore for the marquee game of the preseason. Week 3 is the time when the starters play about three quarters, thus making it the most realistic of all the exhibitions. And the matchup does not disappoint, as the Battle of the Beltway will make its way to Baltimore to pit the Redskins against the Ravens. This features many angles of intrigue, not limited to Robert Griffin III’s continued recovery from his knee injury, DeSean Jackon’s addition to the roster, and the team’s adjustment to new head coach Jay Gruden’s offense. These matchups are a big source of pride for the cities, and you can expect a regular-season like atmosphere.
The last game of the preseason will be against the New Orleans Saints, in the stadium that the Ravens won their most recent Super Bowl. Although there won’t be a lot of playing time for the starters, this is always a great opportunity to assess the talent of the secondary players, as well as a time for undrafted rookies and late-round picks to seize a roster spot. It sounds like the Ravens will have some battles for depth positions at a lot positions, including quarterback, running back and wide receiver, which should make for some interesting football as the team tries to decide which players can add value to their roster heading into September.
Football is around the corner.