With the Ravens set to take on the Redskins, we take a look at the important match-ups to watch for both teams.
ADAPTING TO A NEW OFFENSE
Redskins Insider - Tarik El-Bashir
The Redskins’ first-team offense has produced a mixed bag of results in its first two games under new head coach Jay Gruden. The most notable statistic is 0, as in the number of touchdowns Robert Griffin III and the starters have produced in four drives. But in terms of getting in and out of the huddle quickly, being in sync with the snap count and showing command of the verbiage of Gruden’s offense, they seem to be in decent shape.
Indeed, with the exception of Alfred Morris’ fumble against Cleveland, there haven’t been any significant miscues such as receivers running the wrong routes, busted plays, etc., when the starters have been on the field. In fact, the Redskins’ first teamers have actually moved the ball rather efficiently in limited playing time.
Against the Browns, for example, Griffin completed three passes of 15 or more yards, including a 49-yard bomb to Andre Roberts. All that, of course, is not to say the Redskins’ offense is a flawlessly operating juggernaut that’s going to average 30 points per game in 2014.
There’s work to be done, and we’ll get our first extended look at the unit Saturday against a good Baltimore defense. But in terms of looking comfortable and confident with Gruden’s stripped down, preseason playbook (disclaimer: we won’t see the real deal until Week 1 in Houston) the Redskins appear to be on schedule.
Ravens Insider - Clifton Brown
The Ravens’ first-team offense is expected to play around three quarters Saturday. So far, the adjustment to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system has gone fairly well. In the six series that quarterback Joe Flacco has been on the field during preseason, the Ravens have scored four times – two touchdowns and two field goals.
This will likely be Flacco’s last game action prior to Week 1, so he is putting emphasis on Saturday night’s game.
“This is obviously an important game as far as preseason goes, because it’s the most we play,” Flacco said. “We’re going to play into the second half. You want to do out there and you want to do a good job. We’re ready and we’re poised to do that.”
One thing to watch is the Ravens’ red zone efficiency. They have scored touchdowns four times in six trips to the red zone so far. That is much better than last season, when they scored touchdowns on just 46.2 percent of their red zone trips. Kubiak will be looking for the Ravens’ red zone proficiency to continue Saturday night.