Tonight, the Baltimore Ravens will face off against the Buffalo Bills in the third preseason game of the season. The Ravens meet the Bills in the first week of the regular season last year. In that game, Baltimore defeated Buffalo 13-7. The last preseason matchup between the Ravens and Bills came in 2003, a game that Buffalo won. The Ravens are coming off their second victory of the preseason. They defeated the Miami Dolphins 31-7. The Buffalo Bills are coming off their second loss of the preseason. The Buffalo Bills were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, losing 20-16. The Ravens will be looking to continue their winning streak, while the Bills will be looking to turn their preseason around. Here are some things to watch tonight, as the Ravens and Bill square off at M&T Bank Stadium.
Is Josh Woodrum for Real?
Last week, quarterback Josh Woodrum put on a show against the Miami Dolphins. The second year quarterback out of Liberty threw 10 passes, with 8 completions, for 110 yards. He also ran for 15 yards in three attempts, scoring two touchdowns. Woodrum had a much better night than Baltimore’s second string quarterback. Ryan Mallet, the backup to Joe Flacco, went 13 for 22 on completions, for 113 touchdowns, and two interceptions. The strong performance by Josh Woodrum has stirred speculation that he could replace Mallet as the second string quarterback. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco will not play during the preseason, meaning the Ravens have plenty of time to allow a battle for the backup spot. Josh Woodrum needs to again out-produce and out-play Ryan Mallet, if he wants to have a chance to both make the roster, and claim the backup quarterback spot. The Ravens may also want to give Woodrum time with the first team offense, against the first team defense. This would give a more accurate picture of what Woodrum can do compared to Mallet. The Baltimore Ravens have not expressed any commitment to giving Woodrum time with the starters, but they would be foolish not too, at least in next week’s game.
Jeremy Zuttah vs Ryan Jensen
The center position is now up in the air for the Baltimore Ravens. Unlike most of the other positional battles the Ravens have opened up in camp, this one isn’t injury related. The Ravens brought back Jeremy Zuttah, their starting center for the past three years. It was expected that Zuttah would be placed at guard, as Baltimore has a need there. However, coach Harbaugh stated that he doesn’t want to play Zuttah at guard, except in “emergency situations”. This seems to indicate a new battle, between the current starting center, Ryan Jensen, and Jeremy Zuttah. Ryan Jensen was playing fairly well as the center for the Ravens so far this preseason. However, Zuttah brings experience with him, something that Jensen has little of. The Ravens have not said who will start tonight at center, but I expect both Zuttah and Jensen will get time at that position. If Zuttah can play well at the center position, like he did in the past, the Ravens will likely move Jensen to guard.
The Case for Jaylen Hill
Last week, rookie undrafted cornerback Jaylen Hill had another impressive outing. He is now the definitive leader of the undrafted free agents to make the Ravens’ final 53 man roster. Hill has another opportunity tonight against the Bills to make a statement. If Hill plays at a high level for a third straight game, it will be hard to not keep him when final cuts are made. There are also many other undrafted free agents who are looking to make a case for themselves tonight. These players include wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, running back Taquan Mizzell, and defensive end Patrick Richard.