The 2015 NFL season is now underway. We've watched some boys become men. And we've watched HWSBHFC continue his ways. But in Baltimore, fans watched the Ravens limp to a 1-3 record against, quite frankly, some "meh" competition.
So, should Ravens fans be worried? Yes, and no. For starters, the preseason is more about getting newer players acquainted to the systems of their new teams and coordinators--and/or refreshing veterans. However, there are five things that Ravens fans can take away from this preseason now that they're geared up for their first game today against the Denver Broncos and the seemingly ageless Peyton Manning ("diminishing arm strength" or not).
- The receiving corps is mostly unproven -- Don't get me wrong. Steve Smith, Sr., as I've said previously, is a football god. However, when the rest of your receiving corps is either in their first year or just not all that impressive thus far, you're bound to get Flacco relying on Smith a lot more than he should be. Last year, the one-two tandem of Smith Squared (Torrey, now with the 49ers, and Steve) allowed for Flacco to excel. It also allowed for players such as Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, and others to somewhat slip through cracks in the defense made by opposing teams focusing on either Torrey Smith or Steve Smith, Sr. That's not possible anymore, so Brown, Aiken, TE Maxx Williams and the rest of the team will have to step up--and fast.
- Matt Schaub should be kept as far away from the ball as possible -- That's not very nice to say. I'll give you that. But it's true. Schaub's playing less like a backup and more like a starter who's still fighting for his job. And his errant throws during the preseason show this. He's a decent player still. But, he forces too many throws for my liking.
- Breshad Perriman's injury is probably worse than people let on -- This young man hasn't seen anything close to a real-time snap thus far. That's never a good sign. I've spoken on the impact his injury (and return) will have on the team. However, with each passing day--and each passing update/non-update--it's becoming clear that something is more wrong than the front office wants to admit.
- The Ravens' defensive backfield is...also lacking -- I don't think I can say more about this than what's already been said. But, at least Asa Jackson is back (on the practice squad for now), I guess.
- Carl Davis -- Enough said. He's starting in his first game today and is slated to replace the guy who was slated to replace Haloti Ngata. That's a tall order for a late third-rounder. But, I'm confident in Davis, based on his sample data during the preseasn, that he'll make a huge impression.