Basics: About which you will know in the beginning
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), TV broadcast is simulcast with radio for preseason games
The Ravens open the preseason against a team that has been a heated rival through the years. Tennessee holds a 11-10 lead over the Ravens in the all-time regular season series, while Baltimore leads, 3-2, in the postseason. The two teams last met in a Wild-Card playoff game following the 2020 season in which the Ravens prevailed, 20-13, in Tennessee. It’s the first time that the two teams will ever meet in the preseason.
The Ravens will look to extend their 20-game preseason winning streak, the longest in NFL history. The streak began in 2016 and safety Tony Jefferson believes it’s a product of the team’s focus during training camp. “I think it starts with preparation,” Jefferson said. “Everything we do is 100 percent.” Head Coach John Harbaugh changed up the cadence of training camp this year by easing into it more while focusing on full-speed execution and less on contact. It remains to be seen how that translates in the preseason.
Which young wide receivers will step forward?
The competition for the fifth wide receiver spot is wide open and the Ravens have yet to sign a veteran wideout in free agency. Jaylon Moore, Makai Polk, Victor Binjimen, Slade Bolden, and Shemar Bridges have all made attention-getting catches during training camp and want to carry their strong play from the practice field to the game. Many of Baltimore’s starters won’t be playing, including quarterback Lamar Jackson. However, this is an opportunity for young wideouts to make plays while working with the backup quarterbacks.
Will the running back rotation begin sorting itself out?
J.K. Dobbins returned to practice this week, but he’s unlikely to see any preseason action and Gus Edwards remains on the PUP list. Even if Dobbins is ready for Week 1, it remains to be seen how the workload will be divided among the running backs. Mike Davis, Justice Hill, Corey Clement, Tyler Badie and Nate McCrary need to make preseason reps count. During game conditions, coaches will evaluate which running backs are breaking tackles, setting up blocks, and picking up blitzes in pass protection.
What’s happening at left guard?
A starter at left guard has not been named and it’s the biggest unanswered question on the offensive line. Ben Powers began training camp as the leader, according to Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, but Tyre Phillips and Ben Cleveland are competing to win the job. After weeks of blocking teammates in practice, the offensive line will finally mix it up against an opposing team. This game will help determine if there’s a left guard who’s taking charge and deserves to be the Week 1 starter.
Ravens offensive tackles vs. OLB Rashad Weaver
All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley is still on the PUP list and starting right tackle Morgan Moses may see limited action, if any. Ja’Wuan James, rookie Daniel Faalele, David Sharpe and Jaryd-Jones Smith are among the Ravens’ tackles who could see plenty of action. They’ll be matched against Weaver, a 2021 fourth-round pick who spent last season on the injured list. Weaver will want to show he’s healthy and ready to roll, and the Ravens’ tackles will need to keep him away from the quarterbacks.
Ravens secondary vs. QB Malik Willis
New starting safety Marcus Williams won’t play and rookie corner Jalyn Armour-Davis did not practice this week. However, fans could get their first look at first-round safety Kyle Hamilton and corner Pepe Williams, two rookies who could figure prominently in Baltimore’s secondary. The Titans are grooming third-round pick Willis to be their eventual starting quarterback, although Ryan Tannehill remains the clear No. 1 for now. This will be Willis’ first NFL game experience and Hamilton and Williams would love to make plays against the young quarterback.
Ravens pass rush vs. Titans offensive line
The season-ending injury to Vince Biegel in training camp hurt Baltimore’s depth at outside linebacker. Justin Houston won’t play, and last year’s team sack leader Tyus Bowser is still on the PUP list. This is a golden opportunity for a pass rusher to stand out, be it Daelin Hayes, Jeremiah Moon or Steven Means, or a defensive lineman like rookie Travis Jones.