Show of hands: who expected a Ravens win in Oakland yesterday?
(spattering of hands)
It was an all around solid game by every facet of the team – even coaching! – with less concerning issues to talk about than we’ve become accustomed to in recent weeks.
Offense Grade Overall: B+
The only reason I didn’t give Joe an A was due to his Red Zone presence, getting the Ravens into 1st & goal twice, only to walk away with a pair of chip shot field goals. In both instances Joe had an open receiver and simply missed him, but I guess the fact that he didn’t take a sack in either series, nor did he force it and create a turnover was a major improvement for Flacco. Speaking of turnovers – the streak is over! Flacco went without an interception for the 1st time since… like 2013 or something. It’s been a while.
Couple his clean game with deep shots of 52 & 54 yards, and you have 19/26 for 222 yards of beautiful game management by Joe.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B+
This grade is a result of the disparity between the tight ends & wide receivers on the stat sheet but the tight ends deserve more credit for what’s not on the stat sheet.
While Ben Watson and Nick Boyle only combined for 3 catches for 11 yards, the biggest impact tight end was 3rd on the depth chart, Vince Mayle, who took the handoff around the left side to the pylon for the 1st Ravens’ touchdown of the day. Mayle never saw a target in the game, but I’m sure he was pretty satisfied regardless. The bigger contribution of the tight ends came off the stat sheets, as they spent the day chipping rushers – namely Khalil Mack – to help keep Flacco clean all day. They deserve partial credit for the fact that the Ravens didn’t give up a single sack.
BRESHAD PERRIMAN CAUGHT A BALL!
Two, actually, but glad to see he made the trip with the team!
Running Backs: A
A for Alex Collins, who held on to the ball all game long! It was noted by Trent Green in the broadcast that Collins was holding the ball higher and tighter than he had in the past, and it showed – 12 carries for 55 yards, a 25-yard scamper in the mix, and despite a few of his patented spin moves, he managed to hold onto the ball all game long.
Buck Allen also added 21 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown, along with 4 receptions for 12 yards. Another solid showing by the guy many thought was 53-man-cut-down-fodder before the Kenneth Dixon injury/suspension.
The only down note – Terrance West leaves the field early in the game with a calf injury. No word yet on how serious, but in this case, I guess no news is good news?
Offensive Line: A
Who knew the O Line would ever garner an A grade again this season??
After back-to-back weeks of awful play, the unit suddenly snapped out of the funk on the left coast, as they kept Flacco clean all day, giving him plenty of time. Of the group, Ronnie Stanley had the best look, allowing only a single pressure on the day, but the bigger impact came off the field, where the Ravens left tackle committed $1,000 to the victims of the Vegas massacre for every clean drop back by Flacco.
As such, Stanley is donating $26,000, which is such a great move by a great guy.
Defense Overall Grade: B
Defensive Line: B+
Pressure! They got pressure!
Granted, the unit was not responsible for any of the 3 sacks collected by Baltimore, but they did manage to make EJ Manuel uncomfortable most of the day, while limiting his time in the pocket for the most part. Marshawn Lynch started hot, busting up the gut time after time and causing Ravens fans to tweet at Brandon Williams relentlessly begging for his return, but eventually, they were able to keep him in check (Marshawn’s TD was a result of a quick snap, nobody set, etc.).
Willie Henry with 2 deflections was a good look on the day.
The Outside Linebackers had a great game in this one, creating disruption in the backfield, and keeping Manuel on his heels. Terrell Suggs with a sack, Matt Judon with a tackle for loss and surprisingly also played phenomenal in coverage!
Quite the contrary, C.J. Mosley had some issues with coverage, seemingly always a step behind. This is nothing new for C.J., but you’d hope he’d find a way to improve this aspect of his game.
Otherwise, a solid all around effort for the unit.
Again, a ton of disparity among the group.
Brandon Carr lost track of Michael Crabtree early in the game for a deep touchdown pass that he had no shot on, while rookie CB Marlon Humphrey got burned time and time again in this game against Crabtree. Lardarius Webb was also a liability in coverage in this game, although he made one great play: with Jimmy Smith scooping up a Jared Cook fumble heading for the end zone, Webby acted as a lead blocker, containing Raiders players to the inside leading the way to the TD. Speaking of Jimmy, he sat most of this game with an aggrivated Achilles, which is concerning, but if they can afford to rest him, do so!
The safeties had a great game too, as Anthony Levine had a sack, and Tony Jefferson with an absolutely bone-crunching sack of his own. The DBs as a whole held Manuel to 13/26 for 159 yards and 1 TD – 41 yards of which came on the TD to Crabtree.
Special Teams: B?
I mean, nothing special to talk about here. Justin Tucker hit a few chip shot field goals when the Ravens couldn’t score from inside the 5, then hit a 3rd from 44 late to seal the victory. Morgan Cox had a pair of high snaps so, yanno, that’s not good.
Oh, and Koch shanked another punt. I’ve long said it – for every beauty he punts inside the 5 (he did that too yesterday), he shanks a bad one. Once a game. Pay attention Ravens fam.
They did their jobs, Ravens Nation! They did their friggin’ jobs!
Dean Pees sent pressure all damn day, forcing Manuel out of his comfort zone, forcing early throws into coverage, or simply not allowing him to get the ball out. Even with a lead, Pees didn’t retreat and play it safe, as he continued his assault on the backfield. He sent linebackers, corners, safeties- you name it, he sent it!
On offense, we finally saw a return to the commitment to the running game, and it was effective. It opened up some deep routes for Flacco who finally was able to hit on his patented deep balls. The short game was utilized to keep pressure off of Flacco, plays weren’t called short of the sticks on 3rd down… just a solid showing by Marty!
The only gripe I’ll make is one we make weekly – the 2 minute drill is non-existent. Blame Flacco & the offense, but that’s a function of coaching shortcomings. I’d like to say I’d hope they improve upon it but let’s be honest – we’ve been asking for that for years now. It ain’t happenin’.
TEAM GRADE: B+
This was an all around team win by the Ravens, who managed to pick up their collective heads after 2 poor showings in the past 2 weeks, take a left coast trip where they usually struggle, and come away with a convincing win. I’ve said it before – EJ Manuel was not the reason they won. Derek Carr‘s averages in his 3 games were right in line with what Manuel managed this week. But this game for Baltimore, from the game plan (apparently they called the deep shot on the first play the day before the game), to the execution for 60 minutes was day and night from what we’ve seen.
Here’s to hoping for a continuation of this play and the subsequent results when they come back to Baltimore to face Da Bears next Sunday!