NEW ORLEANS – Five things we learned watching the Ravens cap an undefeated preseason by beating the Saints, 23-14, Thursday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:
• Wide receiver Breshad Perriman had a successful debut.
Perriman wasted no time, making his two catches (nine yards and 16 yards) on the first two plays from scrimmage. He played into the second quarter, and considering Perriman had not played a game since December of 2014.
• Defensive tackle Michael Pierce could be the undrafted rookie who makes this team.
Pierce made the biggest defensive play of the game – strip sack and a recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. That put the Ravens in the lead for good, 13-6, and was the kind of dramatic play that could Pierce from the bubble to the 53-man roster. The Ravens have kept at least one undrafted free agent in all eight seasons that John Harbaugh has been head coach. Pierce could keep that streak alive.
• Defensive tackle Carl Davis left the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
This could be another development that leads to Pierce making the team. There was no immediate word on the severity of Davis’ injury, but Pierce would add defensive line depth if Davis were to miss games.
• Stephen Houston got most of the work at running back, but Buck Allen looks safe.
Justin Forsett and Terrance West didn’t touch the football, because the Ravens wanted to keep them safe. With Kenneth Dixon injured, pencil in Forsett and West as the top two backs heading into the season. Allen has not been impressive during the preseason, but he’s a better blocker and receiver than Houston. This was Houston’s opportunity to put some carries on tape, but the Ravens will need Allen if another back is injured before Dixon returns.
• Several Ravens with tenure will be nervous waiting for Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline.
Linebacker Arthur Brown, offensive lineman James Hurst, and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore can’t be feeling very comfortable. Their phones could be ringing with some bad news.