Preseason is all about evaluation and looking to see where a football team currently stands as a collective unit. The Ravens made a solid case last night in a 23-3 victory over the 49ers that all is left to do is to fit a few more pieces into the right place. In a game where the starting units were given limited shifts but dominate nonetheless many of the players that were going to be given a close look delivered.
Joe Flacco was out for only one possession but went 4 for 5 and 52 yards and led an 80-yard touchdown drive his only time out. Tyrod Taylor went 13 for 21 and 116 yards while rushing for 59 yards and throwing one pick.
Ray Rice had a good ball-control style outing, as Bernard Pierce had the same. Once again, this will be a more than intriguing competition between Pierce and Rice. For if Pierce is very productive the remainder of the preseason and the first two regular season games, Rice may be holding the second string job.
All together the Baltimore offenses amassed 386 total yards to San Francisco’s 187. As expected, it was heavily based off that ‘run first’ philosophy of Kubiak’s system to set up play fakes. The running game consistently gained yardage chunk-by-chunk, and the passing game was great coming off of it.
The defense played even better. The only points given to San Fran were from a field goal the opening possession of the game. The rest of the ball game Baltimore controlled every part of the 49ers’ offense. To compliment the exceptional run and passing defense, the Ravens also forced 3 turnovers; two picks and a fumble.
C.J. Mosley, the player I and perhaps many others were very anxious to see produced a sack and was in on multiple tackles. The rest of the linebacking unit appeared strong too.
The defensive line made a statement early by stuffing the 49ers on 3rd and 1 from inside the ten and would go on to control the first level the majority of the game.
The secondary looked equally impressive, not just in the passing game but when it came to having to make tackles in the open field and box. But lest we forget the two interceptions.
With what little you can draw from the opening preseason game, the Ravens sure gave us some promising glimpses. The Kubiak system looked very effective and the defense was great in it’s own right. As the preseason moves forward look for the Ravens to produce an outing just as good as last nights or even better.