At First Glance: Ravens vs. Rams


John Eisenberg:For those wondering about the all-important (not) question of whether the Rams' starters are better than the Ravens' backups and scrubs, the answer is yes. The Rams looked like world beaters while the Ravens, with many of their starters not even dressed, stumbled badly in the first half of their preseason finale. Things improved a bit in the second half when the Rams turned to their reserves, not that anyone will remember or care in a week. With jobs on the line, the following "bubble" Ravens helped their chances of making the 53-man roster: Omar Brown, Bobby Rainey, Curtis Painter, Bryan Hall.

*Ryan Mink: *This wasn't pretty for about three quarters. Granted, the Ravens' backups were against the Rams' first-teamers for half the game. But it still doesn't mean they should be beaten so badly. Veteran linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo may be one of the two players Head Coach John Harbaugh said played "really bad." Finally, a few bubble players started to separate themselves at the last minute. Deonte Thompson and Logan Payne gave the Ravens a very difficult decision to make at wide receiver. Defensive tackle Bryan Hall was good, as was rookie free agent Ishmaa'ily Kitchen. None of the backup running backs really separated themselves. I'm happy to be moving on to the regular season.

Garrett Downing:There is not too much to take away from Thursday's loss in St. Louis, as the Rams starters piled up points against the Ravens second and third teamers. The first half was ugly, but once the Rams pulled their starters it was a much more evenly-matched game. The good news is that when Baltimore opens the regular season against Cincinnati on Sept. 10, it will be the Ravens' starters stepping onto the field. The positive out of Thursday's loss was that some rookies like Bernard Pierce, Bobby Rainey, DeAngelo Tyson and Gino Gradkowski got quality reps against the Rams' starters, which will give them tape to dissect this week. Overall, the final score isn't pretty, but the Ravens won't spend too much time fretting about this loss.

Sarah Ellison:  It was the Ravens backups vs. the Rams starters for the first half, but Head Coach John Harbaugh didn't seem to think that was an excuse for poor play. He didn't give specific names, but Harbs said at the half that two guys played "really bad" and he was glad to know heading into the regular season. Any guesses as to who those two guys are? He's not considered a bubble player, but Brendon Ayanbadejo had a rough first half against the run and in coverage. With 53-man cuts tomorrow, I'm interested to see what coaches do with former second-round pick Sergio Kindle. He needed a big game tonight to secure a spot, but was mostly quiet other than a costly mistake with a late hit on Sam Bradford that resulted in a roughing the passer penalty. Curtis Painter finished the game with mixed results – not sure if it was enough for coaches to keep three quarterbacks.  With Tommy Streeter sidelined, receivers Deonte Thomspon and Logan Payne made a strong case for roster spots. After all that Thompson has done during the offseason and preseason, I would be a little surprised if he didn't make the team. Oh, and hallelujah the preseason is over! Bring on the Monday Night opener vs. Cincinnati.

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