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Ravens vs. Rams: Everything You Need to Know

080918_Preseason1GamePreview

Basics

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium
TV: WBAL Ch. 11 (Baltimore), WJLA (Washington, D.C.), WGAL (Harrisburg, Pa.), WXFR (Roanoke, Va.), WWCW (Roanoke, Va.), WMDT (Delmarva area) and KFVE (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM)

Stakes

The Ravens had two days of intense, physical joint practices against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams defense got the better of Baltimore on Day 1 before the Ravens offense stormed back on Day 2 with many completions. Now it’s time for the game, and both teams will be looking to show that they’re the victors of the week.

History

The Ravens and Rams have faced off against each other four times in the preseason, but never in Baltimore. The Rams have won all four times. The last meeting was in 2013 in St. Louis.

Key Storylines

Many Starters Get Their First Action
Quarterback Joe Flacco, wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV, running back Alex Collins and many others did not take the field at all last week in Canton, Ohio. The Ravens are treating this like their first preseason game, meaning the starters will see a couple to a few series. It’s the first game-action glimpse of all the new offensive additions and the healthy Flacco. Will they transfer their very strong practices to the game?

Another Step for Lamar Jackson
Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson’s preseason debut was up and down. He threw a touchdown, but also had an interception. This will be his first game ever in Baltimore, and the home crowd is eager to see if he’ll take another step forward in his second appearance. Plus, could we see a bit of the razzle dazzle with Flacco and Jackson on the field at the same time?

Any Bad Blood From Practice?
The Ravens and Rams kept it clean during two hot days of training camp practice that had all the ingredients for a fight to break out. Still, there were moments when it seemed like it could happen at any minute. Now that they’re in a game, the intensity will hit yet another level and the frustrations of practice could come out.

Players to Watch

TE Mark Andrews
Andrews missed the Hall of Fame game as he was in the final stages of shaking off a soft tissue injury. The third-round rookie had four practices under his belt since returning and has made big plays in all of them. At 6-foot-5 with the skillset of a receiver, Andrews is a matchup problem for defenses. After fellow rookie tight end Hayden Hurst scored in the preseason opener, Andrews is eager to show he can make an impact too.

CB Jimmy Smith
It could be Smith’s first game action since he tore his Achilles last December. Smith has been a full participant throughout training camp, showing no signs of any rust. Still, it would be good to see him get some game reps, particularly against the Rams’ top-flight wide receivers, including Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods.

WR Janarion Grant
With Tim White sidelined by injury this week and, thus, presumably not going to play, it’s a big opportunity for Grant to take a step forward in the competition at wide receiver and returner. Grant had a turbulent practice Tuesday. He made a dynamic punt return for what would have been a touchdown, but was ripped by Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg after he taunted a Rams player on his way into the end zone. Grant can make up for his mistake with a strong game.

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