Here's what's on my mind after the Ravens beat the Giants, 24-10, in their third preseason game:
1. I doubt delusional Ravens fans will be calling for a switch to Marc Bulger on the airwaves Sunday. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco was sharp against the Giants, completing 21 of his 34 pass attempts for 229 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and one interception. Flacco moved well in and out of the pocket, avoiding the pass rush while looking for his receivers downfield. He spread the ball around, completing passes to six receivers in a little more than two quarters of work, which was encouraging because Flacco had a tendency to lock onto one receiver in his first two seasons. Flacco backers can safely listen to sports talk radio this week.
2. Speaking of Flacco, he finally clicked with new Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin in game action. Flacco and Boldin hooked up four times for 52 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring play, Boldin shook Giants cornerback Corey Webster on a slant route and Flacco found him in the middle of the end zone for six points. His ability to make that sort of play between the numbers is exactly why the Ravens made the bold move for Boldin.
3. Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura has been a menace in the preseason, making impact plays on defense and on special teams. On Saturday, he intercepted Eli Manning in the first half and broke up four passes. Whether he's a reserve safety, a nickel or dime cornerback or a special-teams contributor, Nakamura always seems to be around the football. And if he keeps it up, he will always have a spot on John Harbaugh's 53-man roster.
4. The Ravens' pass defense rose to the occasion against the Giants, limiting Eli Manning and Rhett Bomar to 184 passing yards combined. Starting cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Chris Carr, both recovering from injuries, did OK against Giants wideouts Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks. Washington, in particular, stood out because he made a pair of solid tackles after the Giants completed short passes underneath the Ravens' coverage. The Baltimore pass rush registered just three sacks, but it generated good pressure, which made things much easier for the DBs.
5. How about Todd Heap? The former Pro Bowl tight end led the Ravens with six catches for 69 yards, and had a leaping touchdown grab over Giants safety Antrel Rolle. Rookie tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are pressing Heap for playing time, and that might be a good thing. You have to wonder what Heap can do now that he is able take a breather on the sidelines every now and then.
6. I'm very concerned about the Ravens' offensive line, which allowed five more sacks against the Giants to bring the preseason sack total to 13. Talent isn't the issue; it's a lack of cohesiveness.
7. With Demetrius Williams scratched, well, because he's Demetrius Williams, and Mark Clayton knocked out of the game with a mild concussion (via a Rolle cheapshot), the Ravens receivers on the bubble got an opportunity to prove themselves. The only one who really stepped up was Marcus Smith, who had four catches for 29 yards and a touchdown in the second half.