The Ravens put together their most complete performance of the preseason Saturday night by taking down the Detroit Lions 30-9 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Joe Flacco and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs were both impressive in their debuts, but here's how other notable performances from the game impacted the stock of players fighting for roles:
WR Jeremy Butler
The third-year receiver is in a tight competition for a roster spot, and he continues to make plays. Butler caught a touchdown last week against the Colts, and he followed it up with a beautiful 25-yard touchdown snag from quarterback Ryan Mallett in the second quarter. Butler showed good speed, hands and an ability to adjust as he made the diving grab. He finished the game with two catches for 30 yards. Butler also scored another touchdown, but that was wiped off the board because of a holding call. Head Coach John Harbaugh has said all summer that he's looking for playmakers, and Butler has been among the team's best in that regard all preseason.
OLB Matt Judon
The rookie continues to show he has a knack for getting after quarterbacks. He notched a strip-sack on quarterback Dan Orlovsky in the third quarter, beating Detroit's starting right tackle Riley Reiff on the play. Judon, a fifth-round pick, has now come up with a sack in each of his first three games. (He also had a sack on a two-point conversion attempt last week, but that doesn't technically count.) The sack against Detroit might have been the most significant because it was a sign he can get the job done against a starting tackle. The Ravens are looking for supplementary pass rushers behind Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, and Judon is making a strong case for himself going into the regular season.
S/ILB Anthony Levine
Butler wasn't the only player who followed an impressive performance in Indianapolis with another strong outing. The fifth-year defender picked off quarterback Matthew Stafford in the second quarter and returned it 20 yards to set up a Ravens touchdown. The interception was an impressive play by Levine, who made the leaping catch over the middle of the field. Levine also came up with a sack on Stafford in the second quarter when he came off the edge untouched on a blitz. Levine is one of Baltimore's key special teamers, so his roster spot is secure, and he's also making a push to get more defensive reps in the regular season.
WR Mike Wallace
It didn't take long for the veteran receiver to show off the chemistry he's built with Flacco this summer. Wallace caught three passes for 37 yards on the game's first two drives, and he was Flacco's most popular target of the night. On the flip side, Flacco overshot Wallace on a deep pass on the first play of the game and the two appeared to have a miscommunication on a fourth-down pass. They still have to iron out of some kinks before Week 1, but it's encouraging that Flacco is targeting his new big-play wideout.
S Terrence Brooks
The third-year safety got the start because Lardarius Webb was sidelined, and his most notable play was a missed opportunity at an interception in the first quarter. Brooks got both hands on a badly overthrown pass from Stafford, but he was unable to bring it down for the turnover. It was a good sign for Brooks to find himself around the football, but the Ravens want him to come up with takeaways in those situations. Brooks played the entire game and didn't allow any big plays over his head.
QB Ryan Mallett
Mallett put together perhaps his best performance of the preseason. He had good command of the offense and was quick with his decision making. The offense consistently moved the ball under his direction, and his touchdown pass to Butler was perfectly placed in the back of the end zone. Mallett finished the night 10-of-15 for 112 yards and a touchdown, and he also picked up a rushing touchdown with a 1-yard plunge over the goal line. The emergence of Josh Johnson over the last two weeks has led to a tight competition for the No. 2 quarterback job, but Mallett made a strong case for himself to remain Flacco's backup.
RB Javorius Allen
The second-year running back entered training camp as the No. 2 back behind Justin Forsett, but he was the fourth back in the rotation Saturday behind Forsett, Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West. Allen had a decent outing once he got into the game, rushing eight times for 15 yards, and catching four passes for 17 yards. He did miss a chance at a touchdown in the fourth quarter when he slipped catching a screen pass and was touched down at the 1-yard line. The competition at running back is tight, but the Ravens may have lost Dixon for an uncertain amount of time because of a sprained knee.
WR/PR Keenan Reynolds
Snaps were tough to come by for the sixth-round pick out of Navy. He saw limited action on offense and only got two shots at punt returns because Michael Campanaro took all the other reps. Reynolds called for a fair catch in his first shot at returning the punt, but he wasn't able to run up and catch the punt before it hit the ground. In his second attempt, he caught the ball cleanly and returned it 12 yards. Reynolds did not have any passes thrown his way on offense. Reynolds is in the middle of a tough transition from college quarterback to NFL receiver and return man, and it will be difficult for him to earn a coveted roster spot in the crowded receiver group.