5 Things To Watch vs. Redskins


The Ravens starters will have their final tune-up before the regular season Saturday night against the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium.

Here are five things to watch:

Offensive Rhythm

The Ravens' starting offense marched 16 plays for a touchdown in the preseason opener, but their two drives in the second game both ended with interceptions. Quarterback Joe Flacco said he wants the offense to gain confidence as it rolls toward the regular season. He said he doesn't want there to be any doubt that the Ravens will go into Denver and "light it up." The offense doesn't need to score every drive, but it needs to move the chains and not turn the ball over.

Run Defense

The Eagles found footing with their run game last week, even with defensive tackles Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams on the field. As the Ravens continue to try to prove they can hold up in the trenches without Haloti Ngata, they'll now face an offensive line that Head Coach John Harbaugh said is very physical and a talented running back in Alfred Morris. The Redskins have had trouble finding consistency at quarterback, but their ground game is strong.

Returner Competition

With wide receiver Michael Campanaro (soft-tissue injury) sidelined, cornerback Asa Jackson will get first crack at returning punts and kickoffs. The competition to replace Jacoby Jones is still wide open as nobody has separated from the pack in the few opportunities afforded. The Saints and Eagles both mostly booted touchbacks on kickoffs, not allowing the Ravens to scout their own players.

Pass Rush On RGIII

Robert Griffin III got knocked around last week by the Detroit Lions' pass rush. The Ravens laid a couple hits on Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, and want to continue to dial up their pass rush before the regular season. Elvis Dumervil got his first sack of the season last week, now it's Terrell Suggs' turn to get in on the action after being the subject of national debate following his hit on Bradford.

Injuries, Injuries, Injuries

One thing the Ravens cannot afford is more injuries, especially on the offensive line where they are already quite thin without left tackle Eugene Monroe (forearm) and left guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles). Expect the Ravens to get in their required work to end the preseason on a high note and then get the starters out as soon as possible. Getting healthy is top priority at this point.

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