Preview: Flacco returns in time for tilt in Music City

NASHVILLE, TN — At the Ravens practice facility, there was a reason to be happy this week. No, it’s not because of the shellacking the birds handed to the offensively-challenged Miami Dolphins, or the fact that Alex Collins just ran for the first 100-yard game in his career. No, it was the return of formerly concussed quarterback Joe Flacco.

After six days of fans and media alike preparing for a start by backup gunslinger Ryan Mallett, the entirety of Ravens faithful can give a healthy sigh of relief. Flacco and head coach John Harbaugh both emphasized that Flacco was quick to get over the concussion symptoms, and he had always been in this week’s game plan.

On another note, the defense seems to have jump-started, accumulating two pick-six’s in last Thursday’s game. Linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Jimmy Smith were the heros on defense, each scoring a touchdown after catching an interception.

Things To Look For: 

  1. Flacco: Seeing as he just came back from a brutal hit that had him looking like he was heavily inebriated, it’ll be interesting to watch if he is afraid to take hits this time around. Although, my gut tells me that he will pick up from last week’s impressive start.
  2. Marcus MariotaAfter eight weeks, Mariota doesn’t look like his usual self. After coming off of a back injury which will undoubtedly hinder his speed during play action and bootlegs, he will most certainly fall back on the pair of bruising RBs, DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
  3. Titans RBs: As I alluded to in the above paragraph, the two backs will see at least 40 combined carries in this game. If not solely for the sake of the sluggish Mariota, the Ravens 30th-ranked run defense will definitely play a role in how many totes the backs get in this tilt.
  4. Collins: After recording his first 100-yard performance of his young career, Collins looks to put up more big numbers against a Titans defense that has been largely susceptible to all kinds of offense. Look for Collins to get at least 20 touches in this matchup.
  5. Smith: Pro Football Focus ranked Jimmy Smith as the best corner in week 8, lets see if he can finally live up to his 1st round pedigree and recapture his shutdown form from 2013.

Details:

TV: CBS/WJZ (Channel 13)

Commentators:

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play)
Rich Gannon (analyst)
Melanie Collins (sideline)

Radio:

WBAL (1090 AM)
98 Rock (97.9 FM)

Commentators:

Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play)
Stan White (analyst)
Justin Forsett (analyst)

Weather:

High: 78 degrees
Low: 64 degrees
Precipitation: 20 percent
Humidity: 74 percent
Wind: 15 miles per hour

Photo Credit: Ravens’ Website

Follow Vasilios on Twitter @VtheNFLGuy for more commentary on the latest sports headlines!

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