The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will take the field for the first time since beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens will match up in their first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This one kicks off at 7:30pm ET on Thursday, August 8th at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Thurs., Aug. 8th, 2013 @ 7:30pm ET
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
- Who’s Favored?
Tampa by 3 ~ 35.5 o/u @ BetOnline
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While Baltimore will look like a different team because of the loss of many players, the opposite can be said for the Bucs. Tampa Bay will look like a different team defensively, but because they brought on several key acquisitions. This is obviously led by defensive back Darrelle Revis. The former Jets standout signed a $96 million deal in the offseason to join Tampa Bay. The Bucs also added San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson.
The Ravens are dealing with the loss of players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, two future hall-of-fame players that were instrumental in the win over the 49ers in the Super Bowl. But Baltimore has known for a while now that they wouldn’t have these guys. It was the loss of tight end Dennis Pitta for the season that might be the most damaging. The Ravens were going to rely heavily on Pitta this season, especially with losing receiver Anquan Boldin. But Pitta will miss the entire season due to a hip injury.
In the first preseason game, we can likely expect to see some starters play for a few series or perhaps on into the second quarter depending on the flow of the game. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco will try to throw to some new targets he’s not used to, but fortunately will have big-play threat Jacoby Jones still to work with.