Kickoff: *7:30 p.m., M&T Bank 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
NFL Game Pass: (free preseason trial)
Local TV/Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Brian Billick (analyst), Evan Washburn (sideline)
The preseason opener is a chance for the Ravens to make a good first impression in their first action against another team. They’ve been practicing against each other throughout the summer and for more than two weeks in training camp. They’re ready to hit somebody else.
The Ravens and Redskins have met eight times in the preseason with Baltimore winning five. The last time was in 2015 when Washington won, 31-13. The regular-season series is tied, 3-3.
Run Game Debut
The Ravens have talked all offseason about the need to improve their rushing attack. The addition of Greg Roman should greatly help that, as he has added to the team’s scheme. Roman won’t* *pull out his tricks tonight (he doesn’t want to tip his hand to Cincinnati for Week 1), but the game should still offer insight into the state of the reshuffled offensive line and running backs, and how well they’re working in tandem so far.
Defense’s First Impression
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Baltimore’s defense, and the Ravens aren’t backing down from any of it. They had one of the best units in the league last year and only improved it this offseason. The starters likely won’t see many snaps together, but it will be fun to see the unit in action for the first time.
*Rookies Take the Stage *Baltimore will rely on its rookie class this year, particularly to rejuvenate the defense. First-round pick Marlon Humphrey may not suit up because of an undisclosed injury, but eyes will be on second- and third-round outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, as well as third-round defensive end Chris Wormley. Some undrafted talents such as wide receivers Tim White and Quincy Adeboyejo, cornerback Jaylen Hill and defensive lineman Patrick Ricard have been flashing in practice and will look to transfer that to games.
Players to Watch
QB Ryan Mallett
With Joe Flacco (back) sitting, Mallett will see a lot of snaps with the first- and second-team offense. Mallett had a rocky start to training camp, which only fueled the buzz about Colin Kaepernick coming to Baltimore. Tonight is a chance for Mallett to show he’s capable of handling the reins if Flacco were to miss extended time.
C Ryan Jensen
All eyes on the Ryans. The Ravens already signed offensive tackle Austin Howard to upgrade their offensive line. They recently cleared cap space in case they want to make any other small moves. Could that be at center? The big, physical Jensen is looking to prove that he’s worthy of the starting job.
The Ravens’ defensive starters are pretty much known at this point at every spot except one: slot cornerback. Baltimore is rolling players into the difficult-to-play position, including veterans Lardarius Webb, Brandon Boykin and Anthony Levine, and rookie Hill. Baltimore will be watching closely to see if somebody emerges from the pack.