Preseason game 2 review: Ravens Vs Miami Dolphins


A few things that looked positive; instant chemistry between Jay Cutler and DeVante Parker, also Jay Ajayi showed good form running and even as a receiver.

Parker had a 16 yard reception and Ajayi turned a short pass into a gain of 11 yards. After the game Cutler alluded to Parker as “a faster Alshon Jeffery” and Ajayi showed signs of his bruiser power running style fans have come to know from his former season.

The official stats won’t show it but the aforementioned players had extra plays called back in the two series they all played in. These included a 31-yard completion to DeVante Parker- a 19-yard run from Jay Ajayi. One culprit was responsible for these plays being called back right tackle Sam Young.

Three starting offensive linemen were out this game and it showed. Ja’wuan James at right tackle, Mike Pouncey at center and there is still open auditions being held at left guard where Jesse Davis got a turn. This doesn’t make for an ideal circumstance to be sending in a now franchise QB in Cutler but he held up well even surviving a hit to his repaired shoulder.

Cutler to Parker for the big play

Ravens vs. Dolphins | NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Highlights

As advertised

Nothing really; Aside from the first teams offense and defensive units doing enough to hold down the fort. There was no positive carry over from last game with any players or schemes. So what might be drawn from that is coaches wanting to see more players involved and how they might fit. At least that is the hope because the special teams looked horrendous.

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Still missing in action

Sam Young: he was responsible for holding penalties wiping out big gains in the first two series that the starters all played in. It may be asking too much too soon for him to be filling Ja’wuan James’ cleats but it also speaks to the importance of having James on the line.

Jordan Phillips: had a potential interception bounce right off his breadbasket that might have made a big difference considering the situation he’s in. He appeared to be given ample playing time only netting one tackle and a pass breakup. This was enough to earn him a shared top rating along with Cordrea Tankersley from Pro Football Focus. But this speaks more toward a faltering defensive effort overall.

Special teams: had looked lackluster game one and regressed to lousy game two. There are a few reasons, starting with trying out more players on returns even though some had already shined. And also being spread too thin from the lack of former talent. Namely Mike hull who is now stepping into a potential starting role on defense. Also Neville Hewitt has been injured. The clownish showing from this unit might continue until Coach Rizzi can handpick players that hold up to live game play.

Tackling/defense: the defense didn’t look horrible but they could do better by stepping up earlier containment that would lead to shorter gains and ideally tackles for losses. Of course the quality of the opponent plays a part as does the need to quickly gel with so many newer players and stalwart Reshad Jones who was out most of last season. Jones looked like his old self laying the wood making players pay for it.

Pleasant surprises

Cordrea Tankersley: picked off one of his three targets and dropped another. This is an important development considering the loss of Tony Lippett for the season. As the saying goes you can never have enough CB’s and the Miami Dolphins are down one.

Xavien Howard: also had a nice interception and many have predicted he should start to shine this season. The early signs are those predictions are coming to fruition.

Byron Maxwell: forced two fumbles, unfortunately they were not recovered by the Miami Dolphins. CB’s ruled the roost in this section for this game.

The tale of two fits is how I call this game. The first one is throwing fits from how bad all units looked starting with special teams bleeding over to offense by constantly leaving them with poor field position with endless blunders. The defense also left much to be desired. It was a losing effort 31 – 7 the Ravens still have the Miami Dolphins number, that needs to change.

Because Storm Johnson looked good on returns taking one kickoff return for 44-yards and a fumble recovering on a kickoff during game one I expected to see more of him. But because he wasn’t used much if at all I will conclude that the coaches are looking for ‘fits’ from other players making this the second fit.

Some say Senorise Perry looked good but his lost fumble on a return clouded my assessment on him afterwards and I was really expecting Johnson to be put back in. Coach Rizzi has a lot of patience. Perry also had a running touchdown just before that lost fumble but overall the special teams sure laid an egg.

Next week’s game playing the Eagles has many anticipating better showings from the defense, special teams and Cutler playing pitch and catch with Parker along with better results this time and not being called back from penalties.