Packers vs Ravens : Fresh off a dominant 29-0 victory of the Jaguars, the Ravens are again looking to defend home turf on Thursday, his time against the visiting Packers. Baltimore has won 13 consecutive preseason games dating back to 2015, and they’ll look to keep that streak alive versus a talented Green Bay team.
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Here’s a preview with everything you need to know prior to kick-off.
When: Thursday, August 15, 7:30 PM
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
What to watch for:
1) Miles Boykin’s second outing
In his much-anticipated debut, rookie wideout Miles Boykin played a heavy dose of snaps and produced an up-and-down performance. He dropped a couple passes early but bounced back by making a series of impressive receptions before the end of the first half, including a deep touchdown pass that was called back due to a holding penalty. Overall, Boykin finished with four catches for 39 receiving yards. After flashing in his first game action, it’ll be interesting to see how Boykin follows up in preseason game #2.
2) Will anyone step up at left guard?
After the first preseason game, perhaps the most open spot on the roster was granted little clarity – starting left guard. As has been the case for much of this offseason, third-year man Jermaine Eluemunor continues to run with the first-team offense but has done little to solidify that role, struggling with numerous false starts throughout camp. Ben Powers was receiving starting reps at the beginning of TC but has faded a bit as the pads have come on, even ceding some snaps to Patrick Mekari in last week’s preseason opener. Right now, it looks like veteran James Hurst may wind up as the Week 1 starter, but we’ll have to continue to see if anyone will emerge from the pack.
3) Can the pass-rushers produce another strong outing?
As a team, the Ravens had four sacks against the Jaguars, but this number fails to tell the whole story. Baltimore’s defensive front wreaked havoc against Jacksonville’s second and third string offensive lineman, consistently getting into the backfield to break up plays and apply pressure. We know the team’s interior pass-rush will be solid with Willie Henry and Chris Wormley leading the charge, but the edge rushers have been a big question mark this offseason. Last week, Matthew Judon, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, and Shane Ray all recorded a half-sack. Jaylon Ferguson, Patrick Ricard, and Kenny Young also found their way into the backfield on numerous occasions, too. Another solid performance from the Ravens collection of pass-rushers will be encouraging.
RT Orlando Brown Jr. vs. OLB Za’Darius Smith
One year after tying for the team-lead in sacks, Za’Darius Smith makes his return to Baltimore as a member of the Packers. Smith has had a strong camp and is listed as a starter on the edge for Green Bay. After going up against Orlando Brown Jr. in practices last season, these two are set to due battle on Thursday. How much they’ll be matched up depends on the amount of time each team plays their starters, but it’s an exciting matchup nonetheless.
CB Marlon Humphrey vs. WR Davante Adams
Over the past few seasons, Davante Adams has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league and Aaron Rodgers go-to target. While he projects to play in the slot a good amount this year, any situation in which Adams is lining up on the outside this Thursday also figures to see Marlon Humphrey shadowing him. Humphrey is also one of the better players at his respective position and is having a standout camp. Seeing these two matched up, even if it’s for a few possessions, is instant must-watch football.
OLB Matthew Judon vs. LT David Bakhitari
Fourth-year man Matthew Judon is the Ravens best overall pass-rusher, but he’ll have his hands full against David Bakhitari. Bakhitari played over 1,000 snaps last season and finished with a PFF grade of 88.3, while allowing just four sacks and committing only five total penalties. Facing a player of Bakhitari’s caliber can only make Judon better and is a valuable warm up for the regular season.