Ravens Defeat Commanders In Final 2022 Preseason Game

August 29, 2022

The Ravens defeated the Washington Commanders by a score of 17-15 in the season’s final preseason game. Before looking ahead to Week One, it’s time to recap the game’s action.

The Baltimore Ravens wrapped up yet another perfect exhibition schedule with a 17-15 win over their Interstate 95 neighbor, the Washington Commanders. The defense held on late to take the franchise to a record 23 straight preseason victories. The team showed its incredible depth and the final cutdowns will be disappointing to some of the fanbase. Newly signed wide receiver Demarcus Robinson made his presence known immediately.

New Ravens Wideout Demarcus Robinson Wastes Little Time

Newly inked wide-out Demarcus Robinson impacted the game immediately upon entering in the second quarter. Robinson, donning the number 10, took his first catch to the house for 67 yards. He used an incredible double move and was nearly hit in stride by backup quarterback Anthony Brown Jr. Robinson finished the game with 135 yards on four catches.

All preseason, the final wide receiver spot (or two) has been a hot topic of discussion. Fan favorite Slade Bolden of Alabama was banged up the majority of camp and was released with an injury settlement. Ravens rookie Shemar Bridges made a few plays but none were noteworthy. Fellow rookie Makai Polk ran with the first team for the most part but did little to separate himself from the pack. Robinson made a play every time he caught the ball on Saturday night.

Rashod Bateman is first on the wide receiver depth chart. By default, Devin Duvernay is slated for the ”Y” position. James Proche and Tylan Wallace will be competing for snaps at the third wide out spot. Robinson’s welcome party changes the dynamic. He is now the most experienced wide receiver on the team. In a limited role with Kansas City, he averaged just under 400 yards and three touchdowns a year.

Robinson played his entire career with the Chiefs behind Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins. As a fourth or even fifth pass-catching option, Robinson produced when needed. In a pivotal year for franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson, the presence of Robinson could pay large dividends.

The Ravens Running Back Room Seems To Have Shaken Out

Entering the game Saturday night, rookie running back Tyler Badie was primed to receive a heavy workload. Scat back and Special Teams Ace, Justice Hill, did not dress for the contest. Looking at the players that were in jerseys and workout clothes, the impression was given that Hill has made the roster. This didn’t bode well for Badie. Most fans and analysts, myself included, penciled in Tyler Badie to replace Hill on the team following an Achilles tear in 2021.

Gus Edwards will begin the season on the PUP list while he recovers from his ACL tear. Veteran Mike Davis will be the power back for Baltimore to start off the 2021 season. Third year back JK Dobbins will certainly start if given the all-clear. Fullback Pat Ricard will be the lone blocking back with Ben Mason going to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

That leaves Tyler Badie and second year back Nate McCrary on the outside looking in. McCrary will most likely catch on elsewhere as he did in Denver last season. Even though Badie was a sixth-round pick, he didn’t step up and make plays when needed to secure his spot. The only way Badie makes the 53 is if Harbaugh keeps four running backs with Dobbins being eased back into the offense.

The Peaks And Valleys Of The Ravens Secondary Continued

Three weeks ago, safety Geno Stone looked like a lock to make the roster and see considerable playing time. After the conclusion of the game against the Commanders, Stone’s spot is all but certain. Stone has seemed to regress weekly since his impressive game versus Tennessee. Another knock against Stone is the fact that fellow preseason starter Tony Jefferson has absolutely shined in every game.

Tony Jefferson has been playing a man possessed since the start of the exhibition season. Honestly, my cohost of Flock The North Podcast Josh Merrill brought up a fantastic point in our Episode Seven on Saturday night. This is the Tony Jefferson we wanted to see in his initial stint alongside Eric Weddle years ago. Jefferson not only has the edge to make the roster, but he may also take over the role Anthony Levine vacated when he retired to join the Ravens scouting department. That being the hybrid safety/linebacker role in passing situations.

Second year cornerback Brandon Stephens has had a very rough preseason. He is playing his second position in as many years. He was a safety in the injury-ravaged secondary in 2021. This year he is being asked to play cornerback. Stephens has been targeted consistently and has given up a few big plays this preseason. Hopefully, Brandon acclimates himself to his new role and manages to play as well as he did last season.

What To Make Of The Ravens Offensive Line To Start The Season

The offensive line play has been consistent this preseason. With veterans Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses, and Kevin Zeitler sitting out all three games made it easier to evaluate what Baltimore has to work with. Rookie Tyler Linderbaum saw zero game action due to an injury, though he is expected to start at center in Week One. That leaves the left guard as the only unknown.

Offensive guard Ben Powers has been running at left guard with the first team for all of camp and played sparingly the first two games. Powers did not dress against Washington. Which presents the possibility that Powers has been chosen to start in the opener.

That does seem to be perplexing. Patrick Mekari is better suited for the position. The team extended Mekari in the offseason. It makes little sense to sink that much money into a lineman that won’t start. Mekari has taken snaps all over the offensive line and is well versed at the center position to add to his versatility. That being said, he will be the first lineman off the bench if an injury or poor play occurs.

The decision to carry ten linemen looms large for the coaches. Most teams carry eight or nine. With the health of Ronnie Stanley still in question, that may be necessary. Trystan Colon will not clear waivers. He has guard and center experience.

Tyre Phillips and Ben Cleveland are the only pure backup guards. Both were high draft picks in recent years. Cutting either is out of the norm of the Ravens’ front office. Daniel Faalele is a long-term project. That leaves swing tackle, Ja’Wuan James, as the potential odd man out.

James has proven to be a capable right tackle but has not shown the ability to play on the left side. With Mekari’s five-position versatility, James and/or Colon are expendable. The next few days will be telling.