Two Super Bowl contenders get things going in Week 2 of the NFL preseason as the Atlanta Falcons visit the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff is at 7:30pm ET on Thursday, August 15th.
Thurs., Aug. 15th, 2013 @ 7:30pm ET
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
- Who’s Favored?
Ravens By 4 ~ 41.5 o/u @ BetOnline
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The nation got to see the Falcons play on Thursday night on ESPN last week, though it wasn’t a very good performance by the two-time defending NFC south champions. Expectations are high this season with a Super Bowl or bust mentality in the Georgia Dome. The good thing though is that it’s just the preseason, and the 34-10 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals is in the past.
Newly acquired running back Steven Jackson made his highly anticipated debut, carrying the ball five time for eight yards.
Atlanta was without arguably its biggest offensive weapon in Julio Jones, who sat out as a precautionary measure. On the whole though, the run blocking for Atlanta was suspect, which is an area that needs to be improved.
On the other side of the field, Baltimore steamrolled Tampa Bay on the road, cruising to a 44-16 preseason win. That was capped a 24-point second quarterback to blow things open. A lot of things went right for the Ravens, in their first step towards defending their Super Bowl championship from last season.
The defense is the main question as the Ravens lost a lot. The production of new Ravens Chris Canty, Elvis Dumervil, and Daryl Smith were all solid. The linebackers and safety should be tested against the passing attack from Atlanta, which when fully healthy is one of the best in the NFL.
Baltimore also added tight end Dallas Clark and receiver Brandon Stokely to the roster this week, so we can probably expect to see them on the field as well.
This game has the potential to be one of the best in the preseason.