BALTIMORE – Final thoughts on the Lions-Ravens preseason Game 3: Joe Flacco's big arm tests the secondary; no change for O-line challenge; looking back at 2015 Game 3; and the long and short of rookie RB Dwayne Washington making a roster bid.
Flacco attack: Joe Flacco's preseason debut for the Ravens promises to give the Lions' secondary a test that it did not face against the Steelers' backups in Game 1 or against Bengals' starter Andy Dalton in Game 2.
Flacco has practiced at full speed in his recovery from a 2015 season-ending knee injury sustained in Game 10.
"He has made it a point of working in the pocket and getting himself outside of the pocket throwing it on the run, moving around," Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman told the media covering the Ravens earlier in the week.
"I think he is completely confident."
Flacco is one of the NFL's best deep-ball throwers. With him at full strength, the Lions secondary can expect to see him go long.
"We've got to be ready to play the deep ball," said cornerback Darius Slay.
The secondary will prepare for more than the deep ball. This is the second full season that its nucleus has been together – safety Glover Quin, Slay and Nevin Lawson as the starting corners, and nickel back Quandre Diggs.
Every play of every game is an opportunity to add to the chemistry that has created a tight-knit unit.
"It's a good feeling, knowing that I played with these guys and I know a certain way how they operate," Lawson said. "I can think for them, without them saying anything. It's good communication. That's huge.
"I feel like we have great communication. That's built. That doesn't just happen overnight. That's through experience."
Play-time clues from 2015: Head coach Jim Caldwell has not revealed a play-time plan, but don't expect Matthew Stafford and most of the other starters to play more than the first half if Caldwell follows the plan in last year's Game 3 in Jacksonville, a 22-17 Lions victory.
Stafford completed 11 of 15 passes for 173 yards and two second-quarter TDs before giving way to the backups. Zach Zenner scored the winning TD on a three-yard run with just under two minutes left.
The Lions ran for 108 yards on 20 carries. Zenner led the way with 85 yards on eight carries.
Washington's monumental plays: Rookie running back Dwayne Washington has put 14 points on the board in the first two games: six on a 96-yard kickoff return for a TD against Pittsburgh, and eight on a five-yard TD run followed by a two-yard run for the two-point conversion against Cincinnati.
Caldwell was as impressed with the two-pointer as he was with Washington's two TDs because of how Washington ran through a Bengals linebacker to reach the end zone.
"I took a shot, I got it in," Washington said.
The release Thursday of veteran back Stevan Ridley increases Washington's chance to make the final roster, but he has to win a place with his play.
"I think I'm going to get a lot of reps in this game," Washington said.
Washington had four offensive snaps in the first game and 23 in the second. In the two games combined he has eight carries for 34 yards and a TD, plus one reception for 15 yards.
On the O-line: Nothing changes for the offensive line, whether it's Game 3 of the preseason or any game of the regular season.
"It's going to be the same every game," said right guard Larry Warford. "You want to establish a running game and protect the quarterback.
"It's as simple as that."