In what can only be described as a glorified scrimmage, the Baltimore Ravens concluded their preseason schedule with a 24-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams and finish the preseason with a 2-2 record.
Baltimore knew that this was a game for the borderline guys to either win or lose a spot on the 53-man roster and the Ravens even left around 18 players (mostly starters) at home in Charm City because they were not going to sniff the field.
Yesterday we gave our five players to watch for in the finale and wouldn’t you know it, a few of those guys had big games for the Ravens.
Bobby Rainey, who is battling for the third running back spot and perhaps a special teams spot as well, took advantage of the high amount of snap as he ran for 39 yards on 13 carries, including two touchdowns to lead the offensive effort.
Rainey appears to have taken the lead in the battle for the third running back spot, but Delone Carter, who was acquired just a couple of weeks ago in a deal that sent WR David Reed to the Colts, still has a chance to make this team. Carter ran for just one yard on eight carries last night.
The most painful performance to watch last night was that of Anthony Allen as he figured to be the front runner in the third running back competition. Allen carried the ball five times for just two yards and lost a fumble on the goal line as he was about to punch it in for a touchdown.
Marlon Brown, who was very impressive last week when lined up with the first team offense, continued to impress, especially considering he was an undrafted free agent pickup. Brown reeled in four grabs for 79 yards and a touchdown, which came on a catch and run route that ended up going for 50 yards and the score.
The wide receiver competition really heated up last night as Brown, Aaron Mellette, and Tandon Doss each had impressive nights. Mellette snagged five balls for 70 yards and Doss caught five passes for 75 yards.
Caleb Hanie played the entire game at quarterback in what was a last stitch effort to convince the Ravens to carry three quarterbacks on their roster. Despite working hard and performing at a respectable level, it is doubtful that Baltimore will keep three quarterbacks on the active roster. Hanie completed 20 of 39 pass attempts for 272 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble in the game last night.
Baltimore, and every team in the NFL has until 6:00 pm on Saturday to cut their roster down to the 53-man active roster. There will surely be a couple surprises here and there, and the positions to watch will be tight end, running back, wide receiver and the offensive line. The Ravens can still add players from outside of the organization as several players are going to be cut and let go over the next week or so, and we would be surprised if that does not happen at all.
The preseason is complete, and now the countdown begins as we are just a week away from the Ravens opening the NFL regular season on the road against the Broncos. Let the quest for a repeat begin!
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