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Thursday Pre-Game Notes: Tackling The Baltimore Ravens

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After a close game against the Chargers, the Falcons are headed for their second consecutive rough contest against the Ravens. Buckle your recliner belts, ladies and gents.

Unlike the Chargers, who combine a potent offense with a decent defense, the Ravens are a run-heavy offense who pack an extremely difficult D. This will be the first major test for our thus far astonishing offense, and the run D will have their hands full dealing with Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain from Die Hard. You may see Mike Smith shout once or twice.

Most critically, of course, this is the last chance for a lot of guys to prove they deserve a roster spot. Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson will do a little duking out, as will William Middleton and every other cornerback on the roster at this point. After this, every game counts in the standings, so this is the very last chance to take a wrench to this team and either fix or beat the hell out of it. Here's hoping the former, of course.

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  • Jerious Norwood is being held out as a precaution. Can't say I particularly blame the Falcons for being careful with our backup running back, especially since he's going to be leaned on more heavily than ever before with Michael Turner not wanting to approximate his twelve hojillion carry season again. As long as he's fine by Week 1, we're all happy.
  • As Bleacher Report speculated, the New York Jets immediately went out and signed Ben Hartsock. This is relevant to this game chiefly because I'm going to be watching hard to see how Tony Gonzalez and Justin Peelle look when they're called upon to block. My guess would be fine.
  • Freshly signed cornerback Tye Hill won't be playing in the final pre-season game. Much like Domonique Foxworth last year, the team is going to bring Hill along slowly and hope he's ready to make an impact the instant they decide he's ready. This week is probably more to determine whether Chris Houston and Brent Grimes get to keep their starting jobs than anything else.
  • Matt Ryan has a perfectly symmetrical face, which will come in handy against the Ravens. I...I have to draw you!
  • The AJC says watch out for Spencer Adkins and Robert James, who will cling to roster spots if they can prove that they have long-term talent and are valuable on special teams. I'd expect them to keep Adkins over James, but I've been wrong before.