While the Atlanta Falcons will probably handle this final preseason tilt in Baltimore the way most other NFL teams are, the Ravens still have a bunch of unanswered questions remaining, most significantly who will be the QB when the hitting begins for real.
The Ravens are the only remaining NFL team that has not named their starting QB for the regular season. Veteran Kyle Boller has a sore throwing shoulder and will not play and is in danger of missing the opening of the regular season as well. Second year player Troy Smith missed the recent game in St. Louis with a viral infection and the current rumor is that he has tonsilitis and may not be available for the Falcons game either. If that is true, then rookie Joe Flacco will have to play a majority if not all of the game as he did against the Rams. If that is true, then with a decent effort, he may win the Ravens QB Derby by default. Remember, Flacco was the second QB taken in this year's draft behind Atlanta's Matt Ryan, who is the Falcons starter under center.
Since the Ravens have so many unanswered questions about a bunch of position battles, they will probably play the game as if it truly counts, as many players are still playing for jobs this season. On the other hand, the Falcons may still have some final roster spots to determine, but not to the extent of the Ravens. Therefore, this could end up being a very one sided contest, as the Falcons may just be looking to get in their reps and stay healthy for the regular season, only a little more than a week away.
We'll see what plays out behind center for the Ravens Thursday night. Whatever the outcome, the score of the game will be inconsequential compared to the competition for the few remaining roster spots on both teams. Here's hoping both teams come out of this worthless game healthy and ready for the games that count!