By: Steve Picciano (Twitter: @RandomGrenades)
Updated: 8/19/2017

Pre-Season Analysis: Ravens @ Dolphins (Week 2)

Now for something completely different:
By now, we should all know that we can’t completely trust what we see in pre-season games, or all the reports that we get from training camps. In an attempt to put a slightly different spin on this busy but often confusing time of year, I thought I would offer up some simple observations of the early action in pre-seasons games. These pieces will be much shorter than what I’ve previously posted, and if there are specific games or players you’d like me to review, please DM me. Sit back and enjoy an easy read.

The Miami Dolphins

QB Notes:
First action for presumptive starting QB, Jay Cutler.
Attempted only 1 pass of 20+ yards, which was negated by penalty.
Matt Moore worked with the starters for 1 series.
Miami remained entirely with 11 Personnel during Cutler’s series.
1 RB (Ajayi), 1 TE (Thomas), 3 WR (Parker, Landry & Stills).
Formations varied once Moore entered the game.
Cutler may still be learning the playbook, and they kept it easy with 1 formation.
Plays were run from both Shotgun & Under-Center.
Many No-Huddle plays.

WR Notes:
Parker rotated with Stills as the isolated “X” WR.
Ran mostly intermediate & long routes.
Parker was targeted the most by Cutler (3), but had just 1 reception for 16 yards.
Reception of 31 yards (from Cutler) was called back for offensive holding.
2 incompletes by QB. 1 drop (Screen pass).
Landry was exclusively in the Slot or Flanker.
Ran short & intermediate routes and served as the “hot” read.
1 reception on 1 target from Cutler for -3 yards (slipped on poor turf).
Stills rotated with Parker as the isolated “X” WR.
Ran intermediate & deep routes, but was not targeted by Cutler.
1 reception on 1 target by Moore for 6 yards & 1st down.
When formation went to 21 personnel, Parker & Landry remained in 2 WR set.

RB Notes:
Ajayi was mostly kept in check by Ravens 1st defense (2 rush for -2 yards).
Had 1 rush for 19 yards negated by penalty.
Added 1 reception on 1 target for 11 yards.
Damian Williams served as the #2 RB.
Lined up in the Slot as well as in the backfield.

TE Notes:
Thomas seems destined for a blocking-heavy role.
Ran 0 routes out of 11 personnel with Cutler as QB.
Had 1 reception for 2 yards on 1 target from Moore.

The Baltimore Ravens

QB Notes:
Joe Flacco continues to sit out for the pre-season.
Ryan Mallett got the start.
Mallett still showing mixed results with the offense.
Trouble dialing back the arm-strength on shorter passes.
Didn’t see some open targets.
Mallett played entire 1st half with mix of personnel.
Ravens showed many formations.
Favored 12 personnel with Power and 2 WRs to start.
They seemed comfortable running the ball despite recent losses to the O-line.
This might be necessary while Mallett runs the offense.

WR Notes:
Wallace & Maclin started in 2 WR sets and played the 1st half.
Maclin had 1 reception on 1 target from Mallett for 5 yards.
Wallace had 2 receptions on 2 targets from Mallett for 33 yards.
Wallace & Maclin displayed good speed & quickness.
Wallace had 1 fumble (recovered by Baltimore)
Adeboyejo entered first in 3 WR sets.
Held to 0 receptions on 2 targets.
Mallett had 1 INT while targeting Adeboyejo
Campanaro present in 3 & 4 WR sets.
Had 4 receptions on 4 targets for 35 yards.
Played deep into the game.
Chris Matthews present in 3 WR sets.
Had 0 receptions on 3 targets.

RB Notes:
West served as the starter.
Seemed very sluggish. Hit in the backfield on multiple plays.
-2 yards on 6 rush.
1 fumble (recovered by Baltimore).
Added 1 reception on 1 target for 6 yards.
Woodhead & Allen were mixed-in early and often.
Woodhead had 1 rush for 2 yards.
Woodhead had 0 receptions on 3 targets.
Mallett had 1 overthrow to Woodhead wide-open.
Allen displayed a complete game.
Had 10 rush for 40 yards.
Had 3 receptions on 3 targets for 11 yards.
Showed good power & footwork running between & off-tackle.
Would not be surprised to see Allen get the start in week 3.

TE Notes:
Nick Boyle served as the starting TE, but was not targeted.
Ben Watson saw limited action.
Had 1 reception on 1 target for 11 yards.
Seems like the Ravens may be relying less on TE. Will monitor if this trend continues.
Maxx Williams had 2 receptions on 3 targets for 48 yards, but did not see time with the starters.