Kickoff: 7 p.m., Hard Rock Stadium
TV: NBC/WBAL (Ch. 11), WJLA (Washington, D.C.), WGAL (Harrisburg, PA), WFXR (Roanoke, VA), WWCW (Roanoke, VA), WMDT (Delmarva area) and KFVE (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Radio: 98 Rock | WBAL-1090 AM
Local TV/Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Brian Billick (analyst), Evan Washburn (sideline)
NFL Game Pass: (free preseason trial)
Coming off a 23-3 win over the Washington Redskins in the preseason opener, the Ravens are looking to continue their defensive dominance and take the next step with their first-team offense. Baltimore will use more offensive skills players than it did in the first preseason game.
The Ravens and Dolphins have never met in the preseason before. The regular-season series is tied, 6-6, with the Ravens winning last year in Baltimore, 38-6. The Ravens will host the Dolphins in Week 8 of the regular season.
*More Offensive Weapons for Mallett *The first-team offense struggled under backup quarterback Ryan Mallett in the preseason opener. Head Coach John Harbaugh was happy that the unit played winning football, but he was clear this week that he wants to see more points. Mallett should have more weapons around him this time at wide receiver (Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin) and running back (Danny Woodhead), so it will be interesting to see if he has more success.
*Offensive Line Is Still Fluid *While Mallett has more skill-position players around him, he still has issues in front of him. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is nursing an injury and is unlikely to play. That means James Hurst will either step in at left tackle or at left guard after Alex Lewis’ season-ending shoulder surgery. Austin Howard should make his Ravens game debut at right tackle. This is a chance to evaluate Baltimore’s depth and see if players can build momentum and chemistry together.
The Ravens’ first-team defense shredded the Redskins, leaving them with minus-3 yards on the evening. Next up is the debut of newly-signed Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, who is stepping in for injured Ryan Tannehill (knee). Baltimore is looking for more of the same – or perhaps even some turnovers from the starting unit. They stressed this week that there is still room for improvement.
Players to Watch
QB Ryan Mallett
For the second-straight week, Mallett will be under the microscope. Joe Flacco won’t play at all this preseason because of his back injury, and the Ravens want to feel like the offense is in good hands if Mallett were needed to play in the regular season. He can play at a high level, but Mallett needs to cut down on the off-target throws he had against Washington.
OL James Hurst
It appears that Hurst will be thrust back into the starting lineup because of Lewis’ injury, which opens a spot at left guard. Hurst may need to fill in at left tackle against the Dolphins with Stanley out, but the Ravens could also opt to have him get more comfortable inside as a trial. Either way, Hurst wants to prove that he can be trusted as one of the Ravens’ top five linemen.
CB Marlon Humphrey
Humphrey should make his NFL debut after missing the first preseason game because of injury. The Ravens’ first-round pick has been extremely impressive in practice, and now it’s his chance to transfer that to the game. Harbaugh has said that Humphrey is challenging for a starting position. How will he fare against the Dolphins’ talented trio of receivers in Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker?