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Receiver spots still up for grabs

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Receiver spots still up for grabs

The sight of widereceiver Torrey Smith in street clothes for the Ravens' preseason game againstDetroit on Friday night probably disappointed many in the announced crowd ofmore than 70,000, but it was the smart move in the long run.In preseasonthere is no official game-day roster limit, so no official inactive list,either. The Ravens, though, did announce several scratches for both teams,although Smith was not among them. But then come game time, there was Smith,who has been nursing a sprained ankle, on the sideline out of uniform.That meant therest of the Ravens receivers would get a longer look, which is precisely whatneeds to happen as the Ravens try to whittle a deep group down to the five or six who will make the final roster.Smith is a lockto make the roster, as are Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones.Jones came offthe field slowly after the opening kickoff return, so when the Ravens openedtheir first offensive series, LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss were both on thefield.Williams has hada strong camp and appears to have the edge as the No. 4 receiver. He had anifty 12-yard, foot-dragging sideline catch on the Ravens' second drive, andwas targeted four times on that drive, though he failed to haul in a couple ofpasses, one in the end zone. Williams, though, continues to be a presence onthe Ravens' coverage units as well, which should help solidify his roster spot.Doss was makinghis first appearance of the preseason after being slowed by a hamstring injury,and he finished with one catch for 15 yards.Among the otherreceivers, rookie Dorian Graham had two catches for 21 yards against the Lions,and Patrick Williams had one catch. Both are viewed as longshots to make theteam. Two of the more intriguing receiver candidates, rookies Deonte Thompsonand Tommy Streeter, had plenty of balls thrown their way -- Thompson wastargeted five times, Streeter three -- but neither made a catch. No word yet onwhether Smith will return to the field for the third preseason game, which istraditionally when starters get their most extensive action of the preseason.But at this point, if Smith isn't 100 percent, the wise move would be to keephim on the sideline and get another extended look at these other playersfighting for roster spots.

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Ravens Week 3 Player of the Game: LB Kenny Young

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens Week 3 Player of the Game: LB Kenny Young

What the Ravens have lost in three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley due to injury, they've gained in rookie Kenny Young.

Week 2 against the Bengals, Young stepped in for Mosley and put up five solo tackles and three assists. Then when Week 3 came around and Mosley was still too injured to play, Young got the start and logged 44 snaps. He finished with eight solo tackles, two assists and a critical third-down sack on Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the second quarter. Young's stingy performance helped fuel a stellar defensive effort in the Ravens' 27-14 victory.

A fourth-round draft pick out of UCLA, Young has the maturity needed to succeed in this league.

Obsessed with perfection, as noted in a profile done via the Ravens' website, Young is already impressing his coaches and veteran teammates. 

He’s a smart guy, so he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a mistake,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s not scared to make a mistake. He’s willing to play fast even if he does make a mistake. And sometimes, some of the plays you see him making? He might not be perfectly where he’s supposed to be, but that willingness to play fast overcomes it, and you go make a good football play.

While the timetable for Mosely's return is unknown, the Ravens can find solace in knowing their young replacement is a steady hand.

The 23-year-old currently leads the team in tackles (17), followed by Tony Jefferson (12). 

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What you need to know from the Ravens' 27-14 win over the Broncos

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What you need to know from the Ravens' 27-14 win over the Broncos

The Ravens got a 27-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

It was an interesting game for many reasons including Broncos star rookie running back, Phillip Lindsay, getting ejected in the first half for throwing a punch.

Here's what you need to know from Sunday's win:

— Rookie linebacker Kenny Young stepped in for injured C.J. Mosley and showed he will be a starter. Young had a critical sack on Broncos quarterback Case Keenum on a third down in the second and finished the day with 10 tackles. The Ravens defense as a whole was impressive. While they gave up a lot of short third downs, they stopped their fair share as well. Most importantly was the late fourth quarter interception from Patrick Onwuasor, while the Broncos were threatening in Ravens territory. 

— The Ravens are continuing to work on the run game, as something offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg emphasized after the team was averaging just 3.3-yards-per-carry heading into Week 3. Against the Broncos, the team averaged just 2.8 yard-per-carry, but put up two rushing touchdowns from Buck Allen and Alex Collins.

— It was a strange day for the Ravens' special teams when the Broncos blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. The day became even stranger when safety Justin Simmons, (illegally) leaped over long snapper Morgan Cox to block a field goal and the penalty went uncalled. Kicker Justin Tucker made up for it by hitting not one, but two 52-yard field goals, his eighth straight from beyond 50. 

Joe Flacco finished the day 25 of 40 for 277 yards and one touchdown, while helping improve the team to 12-12 in the red zone. The QBs most impressive play came late in the fourth on a third down hitting the gas pedal, to not only get the first down but stayed in-bounds to keep the clock running and sealing the team's victory. His connection with John Brown continues to be strong after finding the receiver for a 44-yard gain, too.

The Ravens are now 2-1 and head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night matchup in Week 4. 

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