What We Saw: Preseason Week 3
Baltimore Ravens vs Philadelphia Eagles
Note: This game was prematurely ended in the fourth quarter due to weather concerns.
- Trace McSorley: 19/28, 203 yards, 2 TDs | 4 carries, 6 yards
I was disappointed to see Lamar Jackson taking the night off, but I think this is a good sign for Baltimore. Usually the third preseason game is the big warm-up. It would seem to me that Baltimore is already confident in what they have. How was Trace McSorley in Jackson’s place? Quite simply, he was impressive. McSorley did a good job hitting his receivers, most of whom figure to be starters during the regular season. With 6:35 left in the 2nd quarter, McSorley threw a perfect strike to Michael Floyd–in stride–for a 28-yard touchdown. McSorley’s first two preseason games still make me doubt his long term viability, but I think he could manage short term if anything happened to Jackson. The Ravens could do worse at the backup position.
- Justice Hill: 7 carries, 8 yards | 2 receptions, 8 yards
- De’Lance Turner: 6 carries, 24 yards | 1 reception, -5 yards
After last week, I think the world was ready for Justice Hill to take the league by storm. Let’s not forget, however, that he is still a rookie going through growing pains. Hill struggled tonight, though I think the game plan deserves some of the blame. He never had any room to move, and his statline shows it. Still, the offense frequently looked Hill’s way tonight. They clearly want to get him involved. If the team can figure out how to use Hill, I think he can be an explosive weapon this year. All this being said, Mark Ingram is still the lead back. He was given the night off, surely a sign of his being locked in as the #1. If the Ravens are as run heavy as last year, I think both should be good returns on their current ADPs.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- Miles Boykin: 1 receptions, 44 yards
- Marquise Brown: 3 receptions, 17 yards | 1 carry, -4 yards
- Michael Floyd: 3 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD
- Mark Andrews: 1 reception, 25 yards
- Hayden Hurst: 1 reception, 10 yards
The Ravens receiving corps seems like a great unknown right now. Willie Snead watched this one form the sideline, and he should be safe for now as a starting receiver; I imagine he’ll play mostly from the slot. Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin both played extended minutes and both showed well. Marquise Brown caught all three of his targets, but he never found much space to work. Still, the big news here is that he looked healthy. This is big for Brown due to offseason foot issues. Miles Boykin only saw two targets (catching one), but both highlighted his quick adjustment to the NFL. On the first target, he was lined up outside; he ran down the field, and then cut back into a soft spot of the coverage. He hauled in the pass before taking off up field to gain 44 yards.
The last player I want to mention was Mark Andrews. Andrews only saw one target, but he made the most of it. With around 13 minutes left in the second quarter, Andrews made a nice first down catch and was quickly engaged by the first defender. He continued to run through him as a second defender joined the fray. It wasn’t until a third man engaged that Andrews finally went down. He looks like a beast, and I understand the love now. Ravens fans should be elated by the way this young offense is shaping up.
- Josh McCown: 17/24, 192 yards, 2 TDs | 3 carries, 4 yards
- Cody Kessler: 3/5, 34 yards | 1 carry, 0 yards
The night started off rough as the Eagles watched the Ravens jump out to a 26-0 halftime lead. Sure, it’s only preseason. Still, you don’t want to watch your team get shellacked. Cody Kessler wasn’t in long, and he looked okay on the field. He made a couple nice throws, but the offense couldn’t score on his two series. Enter Josh McCown. For those unaware of NFL history, McCown is currently playing on his 12th NFL team and was only signed a week ago. Surely he wouldn’t do much better, right? McCown was surprisingly good, and he looked like he hasn’t missed a beat. He called audibles at the line, shifted protections, and showed what a decade of NFL experience looks like. If Carson Wentz’s health doesn’t hold up–which is the reason Nick Foles is a household name–then McCown could be vital to the Eagles. With some decent game planning, I think McCown could hold down the fort for a game or two. Speaking of Wentz, he was held out tonight simply to play it safe. He is locked and loaded as the week one starter.
- Corey Clement: 7 carries, 25 yards
- Josh Adams: 7 carries, 18 yards | 1 reception 18 yards
Were you hoping for clarification on who the starting back will be in Philly? Too bad. Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard both took the night off, so we are left to speculate until the season begins. Personally, I expect Howard to take the early down work while Sanders comes in for third downs. Howard is the better pure runner, even if Sanders is more explosive. All this being said, we know what Howard is as a pass catcher: nothing. I imagine Sanders will eventually steal the lead job, but remember that Philly likes to use a mix of guys. Don’t expect anyone to become a full workhorse. Corey Clement looked decent with his seven carries, but he didn’t do anything to shake up the depth chart.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 8 receptions, 104 yards, 1 TD
- Zach Ertz: 1 reception, 13 yards
- Nelson Agholor: 1 reception 3 yards
- Greg Ward: 4 receptions, 45 yards
Most of the starting receivers and tight ends saw at least a couple snaps, and eleven players caught a pass tonight. Alshon Jeffery is safe as the WR1 and DeSean Jackson should be locked in as the number two. This leaves the third spot up for grabs between Nelson Agholor and J.J. Arcega Whiteside. Agholor only managed one catch on the night, but this plays in his favor. The limited workload is likely a sign of his safe roster spot. Reports from camp have been good, so don’t expect a shakeup quite yet.
Still, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had quite the night. In a shortened game, he still managed a ridiculous 8 catches. Even more impressive, he looked impressive running with the ball. Both on catches in the first and third quarters, he turned small gains into huge plays thanks to his ability to run with the ball. I’d be surprised to see J.J. Arcega-Whiteside featured right away, but I expect a breakout before the year is over.
— Mike Miklius