Here are a few observations as the Ravens head into halftime tied with the Chiefs tied at 10-10:
- Lardarius Webb hasn’t had a spectacular training camp from a defensive perspective, and he made a poor decision early in the first quarter on special teams, opting to return a punt with a Chiefs player right in his face. Webb never had complete control of the ball and fumbled it away, giving Kansas City spectacular field position at the Ravens’ 15-yard line. I understand Webb trying to make a play in an effort to win the punt return job, but he took a peak with the ball in the air and saw the tight coverage he was facing. He needed to signal for a fair catch and move on.
- Cary Williams is still playing very solid football. The 6-foot-1 cornerback got the start tonight, and is continuing the strong play he’s shown in training camp. Williams has played physical press coverage, and by my count, up until the final Chiefs drive of the half, he didn’t have a single pass completed on him all night. On that drive, however, Williams was burned twice, including on Terrence Copper’s touchdown grab just before the half. Overall, he still gets a strong grade so far.
- Poor Pernell McPhee can’t catch a break. The rookie defensive end has now forced two fumbles in the last two weeks, but both have been brought back after challenges. Tonight’s came when he burst through the middle of the Chiefs’ offensive line and put a helmet square into the chest of quarterback Tyler Palko. The ball came loose, and Arthur Jones recovered for Baltimore, but a successful Kansas City challenge gave them possession back because of the Tuck Rule. Somebody needs to hand the kid a four-leaf clover or something.
- The more I think about it, while Williams and Jimmy Smith continue to make strides at the cornerback position, Webb is slipping. He’s come in on a few blitzes and can be a force rushing the quarterback, but has often looked lost in coverage this preseason.
- Someone please tell Michael Oher that he’s not supposed to move until the ball is snapped. I’m not sure that’s been made clear to him thus far.
- You have to love the two-play stretch that new Ravens fullback Vonta Leach put together in the second quarter, when he absolutely crushed Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler on a five-yard reception, burying his helmet into Siler and knocking him back, and then delivering a key block on Ray Rice’s 26-yard touchdown run the very next snap. Leach looks like a beast, and having him in a Ravens jersey must be a beautiful sight for Rice.
- Baltimore - meet your new deep threat, Lee Evans. The Ravens’ newest wide receiver, acquired in a trade last week, has made three really sharp grabs for 67 yards, including a picture-perfect over-the-shoulder catch on a beautifully thrown ball by Joe Flacco. Evans has made a great first impression on the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.