5 Things To Watch vs. Saints


The Ravens kick off their preseason slate with a home matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Finally, Baltimore fans get to see their team on the field playing real football.

Here are five things to watch in Thursday night's contest:

First-Team Offense 

The Ravens' starting offense will likely see about one quarter of action, depending on how the drives go. If Baltimore marches up and down the field twice, that could be it for Joe Flacco and Co. If they struggle early on, the unit could see a little more action. The offense has looked sharp for much of training camp, but this will be its first time going against a defense that doesn't have its best interests in mind.

Who Steps Up At Receiver

Baltimore's best position battle is still unsettled. While it looks like Kamar Aiken has separated from the pack a bit, Marlon Brown, Jeremy Butler, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller and DeAndre Carter are all still tight in competition. This is their first chance to separate when the bright lights are on. With rookie first-round pick Breshad Perriman (knee) perhaps sitting out, they should all get a look.

Improved Secondary

The Ravens* *secondary has been impressive throughout training camp, seemingly being at the right place at the right time and making interceptions. Now they'll get to hit. There's no pulling up in the preseason, so this is the first look at whether the group is covering and tackling well. They'll have a good opening test against Saints Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees.

Injured Players Returning

Injuries have unfortunately been a major storyline of training camp. Perriman (knee) is not expected to play after missing 10 straight practices. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot) sat out Monday and Tuesday. Guards John Urschel and Robert Myers haven't practiced since Saturday, when they suffered concussions.

Schaub's Game Debut

Backup quarterback Matt Schaub has raised concern in Ravens Nation with a high number of interceptions thrown in practice. Schaub said he's been testing himself and teammates with more difficult throws in practice that he wouldn't typically attempt in games. Now that it's game time, eyes will be on Schaub to see if he can play turnover-free and keep the offense moving when Flacco hits the sideline.

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