The Best and Worst: Ravens v. Browns

Rice v Browns

BEST

Jimmy Smith

Did anyone expect Jimmy Smith to play this well after his awful performance in Denver? I, for one, did not. And for good reason; he made the same mistakes he has made his entire career. Lack of instincts, poor tackling, and overall sloppy technique have plagued his first two years in the NFL. Against the Browns, however, Smith took a stand.

Officially, Smith had three passes defensed, but anyone who keyed on Smith knows he did much more than that. The Ravens consistently left him on an island, asking him to disrupt timing routes by redirecting receivers inside using outside leverage. While Greg Little isn’t exactly Calvin Johnson, Smith completely shut him out of the game. Smith made an impact all game, directly and indirectly. That is the player the Ravens thought they were getting in the first round of the 2011 draft.

Joe Flacco

Flacco’s stats were average. And if I didn’t watch the game, I would say he had an average game. But, he didn’t. Despite a poor running game, inconsistent pass protection, and inexperienced receivers, Flacco was poised and on-target. Something one would expect from a 120 million dollar man.

The Ravens had thirteen passing first downs and were 50% on third downs, due largely to Flacco’s brilliance. While the Ravens only produced fourteen points, Justin Tucker missed two field goals and both Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith dropped long touchdown passes. If the Ravens offensive weapons ever get it together, this could be a dangerous bunch.

Terrell Suggs

The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year was in rare form against the Browns and their All-World Left Tackle, Joe Thomas. Despite Brandon Weeden’s willingness to stay in the pocket in the face of pressure, Suggs made it borderline life-threatening for him to do that. And it obviously wasn’t just the one sack. It was the constant pressure and hits that go unnoticed in the general box score.

Against the run, Suggs was his usual dominant self, stacking and shedding, forcing Trent Richardson inside regularly. As a result, Daryl Smith and Josh Bynes had the ability to split gaps and attack the ball carrier. If this is a sign to come, then Ravens fans should expect another fantastic year from Suggs.

 

WORST

Kelechi Osemele

While I was hard on Osemele this offseason, I did not expect him to regress as much as he has. Against the Broncos, Osemele was actually pretty effective when “blocking down” on defensive linemen, but was completely ineffective in every other aspect of the guard position. Unfortunately, Osemele played even worse against the Browns.

For most of the game, Osemele struggled to sustain second level blocks against D’Qwell Jackson and Craig Robertson. Consequentially, Rice and Pierce had a difficult time finding any running room beyond two or three yards. Hopefully the talented second-year player gets it together; this struggling offense needs it.

Ed Dickson

I had high hopes for Ed Dickson this season. Everyone did. It was finally his chance to be a primary target in the middle of the field for a great quarterback. Clearly, Dickson didn’t get the message. And it isn’t his terrible blocking or drops, either. That is expected from Dickson at this point. The reason Dickson has been such a disappointment so far is simple: he has absolutely zero chemistry with Flacco.

After three years, one would think Dickson would have some sort of rapport with his quarterback. He doesn’t, and that was on full display against the Browns. While Flacco was clearly looking to find Dickson early in his progressions, the former third round pick was nowhere to be seen. This compounded with his issues blocking, Dickson was easily one of the worst Ravens Sunday.

Maybe Dickson can turn it around. Maybe he can somehow develop the chemistry with Flacco that has eluded him for three years. But until then, he remains a major liability in this offense.

Ray Rice

I know its cruel to beat a man while he’s down, but Rice played uncharacteristically bad before his injury. Yes, not many holes were opened, but Rice should be able to manufacture yards on his own based upon the amount of money he is making. Even on plays where Rice had an opening, he simply didn’t deliver.

In the passing game, Rice has not been his usual self. On a crucial third down, Rice slipped when he was the clear first progression, forcing an errant pass from Flacco. While this downward trend is going to be stonewalled by Rice’s recovery, this could become an issue later on in the season when the Ravens rely more on the running game.

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About Scott Fink

Scott Fink
Scott Fink is a football crazed, recent graduate of St. Paul’s school and current student at Syracuse University. At St. Paul’s, Scott found his passion for football while debating with his friends about every small detail of the games on Sunday. As these daily debates continued, Scott made the jump...more

16 Raves on “The Best and Worst: Ravens v. Browns

  1. Phil on said:

    Jimmy didn’t play poorly against the Broncos. According to PFF he allowed two receptions and one TD, but also forced a fumble. Completely shut down DT in the first half when he wasn’t completely gassed, like the defense as a whole.
    Either way, I’m extremely happy that he elevated his game again against the Browns.

    • Scott Fink on said:

      Just checked that out. On PFF, It says Smith was thrown at 10 times in the Bronco game, allowing 6 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Also, Im pretty sure they put Webb on DT in the first half before moving him to Welker in the second half.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Phil on said:

        Someone on Bleacher Report posted it incorrectly, then. I knew it had to be off, but I don’t have a subscription to check.
        Can you tell me Corey Graham’s stats from that game and how Jimmy graded out against the Browns?

      • Phil on said:

        Someone on Bleacher Report posted it incorrectly, then. I knew it had to be off, but I don’t have a subscription to check.
        Can you tell me Corey Graham’s stats from that game and how Jimmy graded out against the Browns?

        • Scott Fink on said:

          I understand the controversy with their grading system, but what I used were facts. Pretty much every football article uses PFF’s data at this point.

          Thanks for reading.

  2. Luke on said:

    Suggs was the 2011 DPOY, not 2012. I do agree with your assessment of the three stars of the game. Darryl Smith would have been a fourth guy to mention.

    Rice had arguably his worst games as a Raven, so I have no problem seeing him listed there. However, I don’t really see his salary as relevant in the least. Does his compensation open those holes any wider for him? Also, I think the inexcusably awful condition of the field yesterday was more likely going to hurt a cut-and-juke type back like Rice more than it did a straight-line burst type back like Pierce.

    Lastly, I’d list Upshaw as a disappointment. The guy isn’t much of a pass rusher. He is too slow to cover backs and TEs. His main value is setting the edge, and yesterday he did a poor job of it.

    • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

      Have you really watched Rice this year and in the playoffs last year , he is a non-factor,,,,,,,,,,,,,he knows he is done and just may use an injury as an excuse,,,,,,,,,his cap hit next year IS RELEVANT , especially when Pierce ‘s cap hit is so low,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Expect a restructure of his contract next year , I mean a major restructure because he is almost done….too many hits on this little guy , but thanks for the super bowl run Ray , you helped get us there even if you didn’t show up for the playoff run…………….I’m not hitting a man when he is down because I’m just speaking the truth , as you are doing………….

      Other than this , your comments are well taken…

      • Luke on said:

        Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders were both little guys too and were both highly productive into their 30s. Ray Rice is 26. He’s had a bad stretch of games, but I think it would be a mistake to write him off as a non-factor heading forward.

        I think Ray’s problem is that he’s actually gotten too big. He seems bulkier than in the past and his quickness seems to be suffering a bit as a result.

        • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

          What do you do with his cap hit next year ? Sanders and Smith were different style runners , they didn’t suffer the punishment little Ray has suffered,,,,,,,I may be wrong , but I may be right…………

  3. Pamela Leisner Delosier on said:

    I was so pleased with Jimmy Smith yesterday. Never understood why they kept him, but he proved himself yesterday, as did Tandon Doss, who I wanted gone last year and early this season. Daryl Smith also had my attention. Suggs is always on top of his game!

  4. Rumor Ray on said:

    Ngata also had a great game as normal. I was very pleased with Smith and Brown working the deep routes. Nice to have speed and hands on both sides. I was also very pleased with Doss on returns. I am willing to give a bad game pass to Tucker and I hope that get all the misses out of his system for the season.

  5. Ray G on said:

    A lot of the check down passes to Ray I have noticed leave him 3 yards or more deep with somone about to clobber him if doesn’t pull a houdini move to get past the first tacker so slips and being tripped up are short circuiting any good gains on those plays in my limited opinion. It’s only week 2 and Ray has only had limited game time touches since they do almost nothing in preseason games he will be fine after recovering from the Hip Flexor. Support our man don’t start beating him up this early.

  6. jonny on said:

    I’ve never seen Jimmy Smith turn around and have any idea where the ball is. He is generally lucky when there is an incomplete pass.

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