Thursday Night NFL Preseason Picks: Washington Redskins @ Baltimore Ravens 2011 NFL Preseason Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on ESPN 8/25/11: Now with Donovan McNabb out of the fold and a newly installed offensive scheme on the horizon, the Washington Redskins believe they have every intention in competing for the NFC East Crown this year. John Beck and Rex Grossman have been splitting snaps this training camp but it is looking more and more likely that Beck will be given the nod come opening day. Beck brings to the table excellent precision, smarts, and leadership qualities, all qualities that has swayed Mike Shannon’s earlier notion of going with Grossman to him. Washington has performed quite admirably in their first two tune-ups and boast a 2-0 record, only surrendering 10 points between the two games. Defense has been the central theme in the preseason and it looks as though it will be this unit called on throughout the 2011 campaign. The Redskins have the best rush defense through 2 preseason tilts, averaging 99 rush yards allowed per contest, and have the fourth stingiest pass defense. The loss of Albert Haynesworth and Andre Carter to the patriots don’t seem to be hurting their defensive line one bit and Brian Orakpo is molding himself into an all-world DE/LB. For any postseason birth to occur for this Redskins football club then the return and continued health of TE Chris Cooley is essential. Cooley is not granted as much consideration and admiration as he should and may very well be the most underrated player in the league. Cooley has excellent technique in the run game and his catching capabilities are next to none.
Joe Flacco knows that he needs to perform better and make more sound adjustments and calls on the field. Through two games of preseason competition the fourth year pivot has looked average at best and average just wont cut it in the AFC North division. The Ravens defense has the potential to be one of the most powerful units in the league, but it all starts with Joe. With receivers Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans, running backs Ray Rice and Vontae Leach, and a savvy veteran O-line, the potential is there for greatness. Joe Flacco’s problem is, and always has been, that he over thinks and often times takes too long to process the field. It is almost that Flacco himself does not believe in his abilities and arm, but when he lets these head games go he is one of the most dominant quarterbacks in the league. The Ravens will once again rest their aspirations this season on the shoulders of their top notch defense, a defense that is one season older and closer to retirement. All-pro’s Ray Lewis and Ed Reed may have one more kick at the bucket before hanging up the cleats and shoulder pads for good, this season will be Super bowl or bust.
Tonight our complimentary selection will be the Ravens and the points in what should be three solid quarters of football for all starters. The defense has dominated the news this preseason for both the Redskins and Ravens and it appears that both clubs are quite content in hinging their seasons on these units. Both offense’s have struggled to this point, but the Ravens do not have an excuse. Flacco and company know they need to execute better and it will be the main objective tonight to score touchdowns rather then settle for 3-pointers. Arguably the hardest competing back in the league, Ray Rice looks forward to testing the strength of the NFC’s most dominant rush defense. Neither John Beck or Rex Grossman have looked solid to this point, I expect both to struggle against one of the leagues best pass defenses. We will consider the Ravens putting some offensive points on the board and letting the defense cruise them to victory in what is the last tune-up outing for all starters. Cheers!
Free NFL Picks and Predictions: Baltimore -5
|NFL Football: Washington Redskins @ Baltimore Ravens
Time: 8:00 PM EST on ESPN
Vegas Odds –
Favorite: Baltimore -5 Total: Over/Under 33.5
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