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Instant Analysis of the Ravens' 30-27 preseason win over the Saints

The Baltimore Sun
Instant analysis of the Ravens' preseason game against the New Orleans Saints:

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens had to feel good about what matters most. Joe Flacco was sharp. Matt Schaub played better than he has at training camp. Lorenzo Taliaferro ran hard and well and Michael Campanaro made a big play. But the Ravens looked vulnerable when the first-team defense ended its night. That's where injuries have taken a toll, and the Ravens potentially lost a few more defensive reserves with Asa Jackson and Steven Means going down. The team's health remains the biggest concern at this juncture of training camp.  

Jon Meoli, reporter: Thursday couldn’t have gone better for the Ravens’ starters — a sustained touchdown drive for the offense, and two three-and-outs from the defense. But the rest of the game leaves plenty of questions about the team’s depth at a lot of positions, especially on defense. The top reserve safeties appear to be a converted cornerback and a safety who played cornerback last year. The defensive line is so thin that Carl Davis and Lawrence Guy played all four quarters. The Ravens will have the weapons and scheme to score some points this year, but after such promise early in camp, the back end of the defense left a lot to be desired.

Childs Walker, reporter: Well, the last drive was fun. The first-team offense was sharp. Rookie defensive tackle Carl Davis looked great. The second- and third-string defenders generally played poorly, allowing the Saints back in the game.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The first-team offense looked great on the opening drive and Matt Schaub made some nice throws, but John Harbaugh was clearly dissatisfied with the performance of his second-team defense after the Saints drove 90 yards at the end of the first half. He couldn't have been too happy with much that happened in the second half, but the Ravens paid the Saints back with third-string QB Bryn Renner's 80-yard, two-minute-drill touchdown drive to win the game. That had to put a smile on Harbaugh's face.

Alexander Pyles, Ravens editor: The Ravens and their fans should feel good about an offense that was on fire in the first half (maybe Matt Schaub still has something left in the tank?), but few other questions were answered vs. the New Orleans Saints. No matter; there are three more preseason games for that. For tonight, it was just nice to watch football again.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens will take this in any exhibition game: A beautiful night for football, good-looking efforts by the first-team offense and defense and no significant injuries. As an added bonus, rookie defenders Carl Davis and Za’Darius Smith showed a lot of potential.

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