Joe Flacco was efficient and managed the game well on a rainy day where he wasn’t asked to carry the offense, spending the majority of the time handing off to Ray Rice. He committed no turnovers, completing 13 of 20 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown for a 120.8 passer rating against the NFL’s worst pass defense.
Running back: A-plus
Ray Rice had an electrifying performance, rushing for a career-high 166 yards on just 13 carries. That included a 59-yard touchdown run. He now has 1,041 rushing yards for the season. He also caught four passes for 53 yards, pushing his receiving total to 68 catches for 652 yards. The Ravens rushed for five touchdowns and 308 yards.
Playing without starter Mark Clayton due to a knee injury, the Ravens were productive and consistent. Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason caught five passes for 94 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown where he bounced off a hard hit and kept going into the end zone. The rest of the receivers were fairly quiet with Demetrius Williams catching two passes for 45 yards and tight end Todd Heap gaining 38 yards on two catches.
Offensive line: B-plus
The Lions averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. Kelly Gregg was very active. Daunte Culpepper was only sacked twice, but was hurried enough to complete just 16 of 34 throws.
They were gashed occasionally by running back Kevin Smith (69 yards) before he left the game with a horrific knee injury. Ray Lewis led the Ravens with nine tackles. Terrell Suggs returned from a knee injury that kept him out the past three games. Although he looked tentative, he still registered four tackles and didn’t aggravate the injury.
They contained Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, holding him to four catches for 37 yards. They also intercepted Daunte Culpepper twice with Tom Zbikowski and Chris Carr picking him off. They didn’t need Ed Reed to win this one.
Special teams: C-plus
It was an uneventful day in the kicking game with Sam Koch averaging just 40.5 yards per punt, a quiet Baltimore return game with the exception of Chris Carr’s 19-yard punt return and the Lions not getting much done on returns. Plus, Lions kicker Jason Hanson missed a field goal.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.