On a night where most of the starters never took the field, Thursday's preseason finale against St. Louis was all about the players on the bubble.
The Ravens have to finalize their 53-man roster Saturday, and the players on the fringe had one more chance to earn their way onto the team.
Here were some that stood out against St. Louis:
RB Bobby Rainey
Rainey was undoubtedly a star of the game. The second-year running back made a strong case for the No. 3 running back job behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Rainey started the game and finished with 13 carries for 39 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns came on plays where he showed off a tremendous second, and even third, effort. The first score was a 2-yard run where he looked to be stuffed at the goal line, but then changed course and forced his way in for the score. The second touchdown came on an 8-yard run, where he broke a tackle and then found his way into the end zone.
Rainey also saw action on special teams, as the Ravens used him as a punt and kickoff returner, and on the coverage units. Rainey had three returns and racked up 76 total return yards. He finished with 115 all-purpose yards on the night. Special teams is critical for the No. 3 running back, and Rainey showed that he can be versatile in that area. The good game for Rainey came on a night where one of his biggest competitors, Anthony Allen, fumbled at the goal line.
S Omar Brown
The second-year safety always seems to make plays whenever he's on the field, and it didn't take long for him to make an impact against the Rams. Brown forced a fumble on the game's opening drive by coming in on a tackle and ripping away at the football. "Mini Ed Reed" started the game at free safety and he always seemed to be around the football, finishing the game with five tackles. In the second half, Brown nearly picked off a pass as the ball deflected off his fingertips. Brown also made a nice play in the backfield to stuff a run for a loss in the fourth quarter. Brown earned a spot on the team last yearafter recovering four turnovers during the preseason, and he made a strong case again for a job Thursday night.
WR Marlon Brown
For the second week in a row, Brown flashed with big plays. The undrafted receiver out of Georgia has come on strong in the last few weeks, making a convincing bid for a roster spot and inserting himself into the conversation for the No. 3 receiver role. Brown had the highlight of the game with a 50-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Brown caught the pass on a slant route over the middle, then shrugged off a tackler and beat everyone to the end zone. Brown finished the game with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. In addition to the catches, he also had a great snag down the sidelines in the fourth quarter but was ruled out of bounds. Brown also made plays in the running game, sealing off a defender with a downfield block on Rainey's second touchdown.
WR Aaron Mellette
Along with Brown, Mellette continued his strong preseason into the finale with the Rams. He was frequently targeted by quarterback Caleb Hanie and finished the game with five receptions for 70 yards. Mellette showed a knack for moving the chains, as all five of his catches went for first downs. Mellette was most often targeted during drives late in the first and second half, as he could find the first-down marker and then get out of bounds to stop the clock. The seventh-round pick displayed once again that he's tough to cover, and he made his case to stay on the roster.
WR Tandon Doss
Doss finished the preseason with his best performance to date. The former fourth-round pick showed good hands and speed, catching five passes for 75 yards. Doss worked out of the slot and picked up most of his yards over the middle of the field. His biggest gain of the day came on a 40-yard pickup on a slant route, which he caught and turned upfield for big yardage. Doss also showed good hands, pulling in a tough catch on a fade route in tight coverage in the second half, and reaching behind him for grab in the first quarter.
S Brynden Trawick
As Brown stood out at the start of the game, the undrafted rookie safety had a strong finish to the night. He was constantly around the ball on defense and special teams, and he finished with a game-high six tackles. Trawick was even praised by Head Coach John Harbaugh after the game as one of the players who stood out late in the contest. Trawick is fighting for a roster spot, and he may have played himself into consideration with some big hits and a nose for the football.
RB Anthony Allen
The third-year running back is competing with Rainey for the No. 3 running back spot, and he had a rough finish to the preseason. Allen had five carries for just two yards, and he also had one of the biggest mishaps of the night. Allen fumbled on the goal line as he fought for extra yardage to go in for a touchdown. On the sidelines after the play, Harbaugh put his arm around Allen's shoulder and had a long conversation with the visibly-frustrated running back.