The Ravens improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 19-18 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here's a look at how the game affected the stock of several players:
WR Jeremy Butler
Butler got the start alongside Kamar Aiken, and he continued to make a strong case for a spot on the 53-man roster. Butler made several tough catches throughout the night, including a 12-yard touchdown snag from quarterback Josh Johnson to cap off a two-minute drill just before halftime. Butler finished the game with four catches for 35 yards and the score. The final receiver spot will be hotly contested over the next two weeks, and Butler's performance Saturday will make him a tough player to cut when the time comes to trim the roster.
WR Chris Moore
The rookie fourth-round pick made his preseason debut after missing last week's game with an injury. Moore was coming on strong in training camp before getting hurt, and he seemed to pick up right where he left off. Moore caught three passes on his first drive of the game, helping the Ravens march down the field for a touchdown. He did have one miscue on the night, dropping a pass from Johnson. The Ravens like the big-play ability that Moore brings, and he showed potential to be a playmaker.
For the second week in a row, the starting defense gave up a long drive on the opening possession that ended with a field goal. The unit has been stout in the red zone, but it also allowed the Colts to march up and down the field. A good sign for the defense was that the group came up with a turnover – safety Eric Weddle recovered a fumble that linebacker Albert McClellan forced – which has been a point of emphasis the entire offseason. The first-team defense allowed just three points in its two series of work, but the unit also knows it has to clean up the issues that led to the Colts picking up 104 yards while quarterback Andrew Luck was in the game.
QB Josh Johnson**
Johnson made the most of his reps. The Ravens put him in the game to run the two-minute offense just before halftime, and he led the offense on a 10-play, 79-yard touchdown drive in just 1 minute, 18 seconds. He capped off that drive with the touchdown pass to Butler, which was perfectly placed in the back of the end zone. Johnson continued to stay hot in the second half, making plays with his arm and his feet. Johnson has great scrambling ability and he used that speed to carry five times for 40 yards. Johnson finished the night 11-of-16 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown. Veteran Ryan Mallett entered training camp firmly entrenched as Joe Flacco's backup, but Johnson seems to be making a push for the job.
RB Justin Forsett
The veteran running back had a quiet night in his preseason debut. Forsett got the start, but collected just 11 rushing yards on five carries. He didn't have much room to work during his limited action, and the young running backs behind him will continue to challenge him for carries. Terrance West has put together the most impressive training camp of any of the running backs, and he again showed some flashes against Indianapolis. West had nine carries for 33 yards and two receptions for 18 yards. Forsett is still the top running back at this point, but West is creeping up on him.
OLB Matt Judon
The fifth-round pick is showing he's more than just a pass rusher who could beat up on small-school colleges. He led the country with 20 sacks at Grand Valley State last year, and his pass-rushing prowess was on display against the Colts. Judon picked up two sacks Saturday night, beating the right tackle to bring down quarterback Scott Tolzien. Judon now has three sacks in the preseason. The Ravens want to find pass rushers to supplement Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, and Judon is showing he can fit the bill.
S Matt Elam
The former first-round pick has earned high marks for the way he has practiced this summer, and that development carried into Saturday's game. Elam took reps as the nickel back with the first-team offense, and he made a pair of nice open field tackles in the first quarter. Elam then played deep into the second half at safety and didn't allow any big plays to get over his head.
The Ravens travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in their second preseason game.