The preseason schedule is the ultimate test for players on the NFL roster bubble.
It's true that coaches evaluate players constantly, through training camp drills, weight room work ethic and film study. And players spend far more time at practice than they do at games. But it is performance in games, against other NFL players and "when the lights come on," as coaches like to say, that help dictate whether these players have what it takes to compete in the NFL.
Granted, some veterans also shined and looked poorly at times. But here the focus is on those players lower on the depth chart, looking to make an impression and earn a spot on the roster.
RB Bernard Pierce -- The rookie got his first game action, and while his stat line did not impress -- four carries for 1 net yard -- he showed some quickness and power. He had runs of 2, 6, 7 and minus-14 yards, and had a 10-yard reception brought back by penalty. Still working back from a hamstring injury, he put himself right back in the conversation for the job as Ray Rice's backup.
CB Asa Jackson -- Jackson had the highlight film play of the game, a zig-zagging 85-yard punt return touchdown, though it was nullified by a holding penalty during the return. Jackson also laid a tremendous hit while playing cornerback and finished with three tackles, including one on special teams.
K Justin Tucker -- Tucker continues to do just about everything possible to win the kicking job, though it still might not be enough. Tucker was 2-for-2 last night, hitting from 50 and 45 yards, and executed a perfect onside kick that was recovered by the Ravens in the closing minutes. If Billy Cundiff holds on to the kicking job, it won't be because Tucker lost it.
RB Anthony Allen -- The second-year running back seems to be losing ground in the battle to be Ray Rice's backup. Allen had one carry for minus-2 yards last night and also missed a key block in pass protection for the second week in a row.
S Emanuel Cook -- Cook got a lot of action at backup safety last night, and finished with four tackles. But he whiffed on a tackle of Titus Young at the 5-yard line, allowing Young to waltz in with the Lions' second touchdown. Cook certainly wasn't the only member of the Ravens secondary who struggled, but when fighting for a spot, tackles need to be made.
WR Tommy Streeter -- The Ravens' rookie had a potential touchdown grab there for the taking late in the game, but the ball slipped through his arms at the Lions' 5-yard line in the final two minutes. The receiver has the size and speed to be a factor, but needs to make catches like this to earn a spot in a deep, crowded receiver group.