AFC North: Haruki Nakumura
August, 25, 2011
By James Walker | ESPN.com
Three things to watch for in Baltimore's preseason game against visiting Washington on Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Joe Flacco's efficiency: Flacco has been decent this preseason. But he's yet to have that dominating performance we've seen from other top quarterbacks. Flacco has missed some throws he usually makes. Some of the blame certainly goes to the offensive line. The pass protection has been inconsistent, which is why the team signed former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie this week. Still, the Ravens would like to see Flacco put together a great half or three quarters of football in Thursday's dress rehearsal game.
Secondary position battles: The Ravens are a veteran team without many position battles. But there are some spots still to be determined in the secondary. The biggest is the strong safety position. Bernard Pollard and Tom Zbikowski are having a healthy competition that could go down to the wire. Haruki Nakamura is also in the mix. Young corner Cary Williams had a great training camp and has the edge at cornerback. But experienced veterans such as Chris Carr, Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb are battling for playing time. So Williams can't rest easy.
Development of receiver Lee Evans: Baltimore's newest acquisition at receiver had a successful debut last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Evans, who was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, tied for the team lead with three receptions for 68 yards. Evans brings much-needed deep speed to Baltimore's offense. He is quickly developing a rapport with Flacco, who will need Evans this season.