Preseason Stock Watch: Ravens vs. Colts


First-Team Offense

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the starting offense got more extended action in Indianapolis, compared to the one series they played last week against the Rams. Flacco played three series, leading one touchdown drive and punting twice. The offense finished on a high note as Flacco hit wide receiver John Brown for a 7-yard score, which was set up by a 29-yard completion to fellow free-agent addition Michael Crabtree. The offense sputtered on the first two drives as it dealt with some sloppiness. Running back Buck Allen fumbled a handoff, left guard Alex Lewis was flagged for a false start and Flacco took a sack for a 9-yard loss. The group bounced back from those miscues to finish with a 67-yard scoring drive capped off by Brown's juggling snag in the back of the end zone. Flacco finished the day 7-of-9 passing for 72 yards and the touchdown.

QB Lamar Jackson

The rookie quarterback entered the game in the second quarter and played through the third quarter. It was a rough beginning as the offense went three-and-out on his first three series, and he was off the mark on a handful of throws. But Jackson started to find his groove running the two-minute offense at the end of the first half and orchestrated a 56-yard drive that ended in a field goal just before halftime. He then led a scoring drive on the opening drive of the third quarter, and his 7-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Chris Moore was an impressive example of what makes him so dangerous. He rolled to his right and could have tried to run for the score, but he showed patience and delivered a strike to Moore in the back of the end zone. Jackson finished the game 7-of-15 for 49 passing yards and the touchdown.

RB Kenneth Dixon

The third-year running back saw game action for the first time since the end of the 2016 season. He missed last season because of a knee injury and then missed the first two preseason games of this year because of another injury, but showed flashes of his potential against Indianapolis. Dixon displayed nice agility and a quick burst, which is what he was known for before the knee injury. Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the game that Dixon still isn't back to 100 percent just yet, but he still led the Ravens with six carries for 32 yards and had a team-high three catches for 24 yards. Dixon's issue in his young career has been his inability to stay on the field, and playing in a game is a big step in the right direction for him. If he's able to get healthy and build off his performance Monday night, he could push both Alex Collins and Buck Allen for carries.

Returners Tim White and Janarion Grant

The competition for the starting returner job is wide open, and the Ravens have been waiting for someone to seize it. Neither of the top candidates did much to stake their claim to the role. Tim White got the first crack at it Monday, but the speedy second-year returner fumbled his first punt return, which pinned Baltimore's defense deep inside its own territory. Later in the game, White was flagged for an illegal fair catch signal on a play where he was unable to get under the punt for the catch. When Grant had his shot, he made some tacklers miss but also coughed up the football and the Colts recovered. The Ravens have always stressed that protecting the football is the top priority in the return game, and both young players will have to do a better job in that department.

DB Anthony Levine

The veteran defender is competing for his roster spot and he helped himself with an impressive play on the defense's second series. Levine picked off Colts starting quarterback Andrew Luck when he deflected a pass with one hand and then corralled it for the takeaway. The interception came with the Colts in scoring position after White's fumble. Levine is a trusted special teamer and versatile defender, and he showed that he's capable of making an impact with his defensive snaps.

LB Kenny Young

One of the few starting spots still up for grabs is weak-side linebacker, as Young is challenging incumbent Patrick Onwuasor for the role. The Ravens gave both players time with the first-team defense, and Young flashed in coverage. The fourth-round pick from UCLA is known as a speedy cover linebacker, and he made a nice open field tackle on tight end Eric Ebron to stop him for a 1-yard gain. Young then came up big with a shared tackle on the Colts' failed two-point conversion attempt to win the game. Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale has said he's waiting to see one of the linebackers take command of the job, and Young made a case for himself Monday.

WR Jordan Lasley

The fifth-round pick will certainly be frustrated with himself for dropping what would have been his first NFL touchdown. Lasley broke open during a scramble drill and quarterback Robert Griffin III delivered a beautiful pass that hit the rookie perfectly in stride just before the goal line. The third-down pass bounced off Lasley's hands for an incompletion, forcing the Ravens to settle for a field goal. Lasley is a talented player who has come up with his share of big plays in training camp, but he also struggled with drops in his college career at UCLA and has shown some of that in practice. He's competing for a roster spot in a tight battle at receiver and that drop is a play he'll want back.

Check out the best shots from Monday night's nationally-televised preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

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