Three takeaways from the Washington Commanders’ preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens
On Monday night, the Washington Commanders ended the record 24-game preseason winning streak of the Baltimore Ravens. They did so with a final score of 29-28 thanks to a Joey Slye field goal with nine seconds left to give them the lead.
Washington found themselves down by eight points late in the fourth quarter. They scored a touchdown but did not convert the two-point conversion. Managing to get the ball back with just under three minutes, the Commanders put together a 14-play, 60-yard drive that spanned 2:44 seconds. It ended with the game-winning 49-yard field goal.
While it’s only a preseason game, this type of win can still get fans excited. Especially considering how some key names played when given the opportunity.
A win like that shows a deep roster that’s willing to compete, as well as some competent coaching. Washington came into the preseason with roster spots open and starting roles being fought for. They already ironed some of that out (Sam Howell as the starting quarterback, for example). This game made the vision even more apparent.
With that in mind, it was a preseason game. That means we saw a lot of players hit the field. The starters (for the most part) got the entire first half. Then it was backups, third-stringers, and roster hopefuls the rest of the way.
What did we learn from seeing this mixed bag of talent? A lot. Let’s look at three major takeaways from a wild preseason win for the Commanders.
Washington Commanders: Three takeaways from win over Ravens
Washington Commanders’ Rookie defensive back duo looks legit
The Washington Commanders spent their first two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft on defensive backs. They selected cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the 16th overall pick. Then they landed safety Jartavius Martin in the second round.
From the moment they were drafted, it was expected that both defensive backs would feature heavily in the gameplan. However, even early draft picks must prove themselves before the regular season. Nothing is just handed to someone.
With that in mind, the hope was that Forbes and Martin would make some plays in the preseason. The good news is that both did just that against the Ravens.
Emmanuel Forbes finished the day with just one tackle. However, he showed a lot of physicality. Forbes is listed at 6’0″, 180 lbs. That size had a lot of people questioning if he would be able to handle the NFL. Forbes looks good making tackles and certainly isn’t afraid to go after the ball carrier.
Jartavius Martin recorded two tackles, one pass deflection, and one interception. The safety returned the interception 59 yards.
Martin showed off some great speed and phenomenal awareness and concentration. The interception came on a ball in the end zone. He was behind the play a little due to what looked like a slight bump from his teammate.
Martin was able to get back into the play, though, and make the slightly underthrown pass difficult to catch. He then caught the ball off the deflection and took off to get Washington into a good field position. That’s the type of playmaking ability you love to see.
The Commanders haven’t had the best luck creating homegrown stars in their secondary in recent seasons. Forbes and Martin could break that curse.