The morning after the Ravens' 24-10 win over the Giants, here are three positives and three negatives that we can take from the game:
- Anquan Boldin. Last night, we saw exactly why Boldin will be such a big piece to this Ravens offense - the veteran wide receiver brings a physical presence to the position that the Ravens hadn't had previously. He fights for extra yards after contact, tosses his weight around when blocking for his teammates, and is a big-time presence inside the red zone. Against the Giants, we got to see all of those aspects in action. Ravens fans should be thrilled with what they saw out of Boldin last night.
- Starting cornerbacks. There have been tons of questions about the quality of the Ravens' cornerbacks over the last few months, but last night, Fabian Washington and Chris Carr showed that they can get the job done. Washington had a solid game and continued to show that he's willing to jump into the action and take on blocks or make a tough tackle. But the highlight of the night in the secondary was the play of Carr, who was getting his first true preseason action after missing most of the first two games with a hamstring injury. Carr was tough in coverage, had a team-leading eight tackles and added a big sack as well.
- Ed Dickson. This kid just continues to impress. Dickson made four grabs for 56 yards last night, and the rookie tight end is now the Ravens' leader in receiving yards through three preseason games. Dickson has speed, size and pass catching ability, and like Boldin, he's showing he can be a reliable red zone target as well. The Oregon product won't get a ton of playing time on offense behind Todd Heap (who has had a fantastic camp and preseason), but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has to start thinking about finding ways to get Dickson on the field.
- Run defense. A week after allowing just 25 rushing yards against the Redskins, the Ravens' front-seven got gashed last night. Giants running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined to post 63 rushing yards on just 13 total carries, and they broke into the Ravens' secondary on a few occasions. That duo is tough to stop, however, and the Giants have a solid offensive line, so there isn't real cause for concern. Plus, the Ravens' run defense stepped up big when it mattered, stoning Bradshaw on back-to-back plays in the first quarter to force New York to turn the ball over on downs.
- Shayne Graham. The veteran kicker didn't do anything wrong last night, but he didn't get an opportunity to show much against the Giants (he only attempted two extra points and had two kickoffs), leaving him with only one remaining preseason game to make a push for the Ravens' kicking job. Meanwhile, Graham's competition, Billy Cundiff, made his only field goal try last night, and boomed all three of his kickoffs to at least the goal line, one of which resulted in a touchback. The kicking competition looks like it will come down to the wire.
- Offensive line. The Ravens gave up five sacks last night, three of which were on Joe Flacco and came when the first-team offensive line was on the field. They've now allowed 13 sacks this preseason, a number which won't please the coaching staff or Flacco's mother. The O-line was considered one of the strong points of this offense last year, and all-in-all they haven't played that poorly. But the pass protection needs to improve, especially from the tackles. Michael Oher and Tony Moll/Oniel Cousins have not looked fantastic thus far.