Baltimore Falls 30-23
So. Much. UGLY.
From the opening kick off, this game never felt right. The Ravens forced a three-and-out to start, but the offense reverted to their ineffective ways, the defense suffered a meganormous (yea, sure, it’s a word) loss after Jimmy Smith jacked his ankle up early in the game, and the special teams were anything but special this week.
Literally, the perfect storm.
A (insert smiling poo emoji) storm.
Ugh… grades, I guess…
Oh Joe… any progress you made last week has once again fizzled…
Back foot throws, lobbing his deep balls short, throwing into double coverage, not reading the blitz, hanging on to the ball too long, no audibles to adjust to the defense, rinse and repeat.
Did I miss anything?
I take back everything I said last week, and I’ll revert to my old criticisms. These are rookie mistakes by a friggin’ Super Bowl MVP. This is beyond unacceptable for the face of the franchise. It’s either lack of ability to learn and adapt, or lack of motivation. Either way, another step backwards for Flacco is hindering this team’s growth, and honestly? I felt like that frustration was visible on the faces of the receivers tonight.
Offensive Line: C+
The sacks surrendered were coverage sacks combined with Flacco hanging in the pocket too long (oh! I missed that one under QB!), and they were hardly pushed around. I guess we can fault them for the safety in the 1st quarter, but the play call was borderline idiotic, and Kyle Juszczyk was bulldozed for the safety, so I won’t blame the OL too much there.
Running Backs: A?
We have running backs? I just assumed they were wide receivers! After all, they had more touches in the passing game (12) than the run game (11).
Not that the Ravens HAVE a run game to speak of.
Had Kenneth Dixon (81 all purpose yards, 1 receiving TD, team high 11 targets) actually had opportunities to run the rock in the first half, I believe this game could have gone much differently. But alas… Ravens coaching staff strikes again…
Wide Receivers: B-
I will knock Mike Wallace for lack of effort for a second consecutive week, as we watched the ball sail right through his arms on the Devin McCourty pick in the first half.
I’ll also knock on Breshad Perriman. Flacco threw his way early in the game, and Perriman didn’t even think to look back as the ball nearly bounced off his head. Timing routes that don’t work, but hey, at least Flacco hit his target?
Tight Ends: C
So-so. Nothing great. Nothing awful. Meh.
Darren Waller‘s 3-yard touchdown reception was the highlight for this unit. Pitta (4/18), Boyle (3/15) were a blip on the radar at best.
Defensive Line: C-
Ummm… anything else happen there? No? Cool.
Elvis Dumervil had a nice pressure on Brady earlier in the game and Suggs got to him once, but the inside duo of Mosley & Orr were painful to watch in coverage for yet another week.
Mosley was taken to school by Pats RB James White for a catch and run of, I believe, 157 yards, while Zach Orr got manhandled by TE Martellus Bennett for a touchdown. This isn’t new information either. The Ravens inside linebackers have been getting owned in coverage over the past 4 games. Gotta fix this issue and FAST.
Jimmy Smith went down with an ankle injury in the 1st quarter and the unit never looked the same. Shareece Wright & Jerraud Powers got toasted on multiple occasions, and while Tavon Young had a very solid game, he did give up a touchdown to WR Malcolm Mitchell in the first half.
Eric Weddle, on the other hand, was on point in this game, save for his blown assignment on the big 79-yard TD pass to Chris Hogan. Down 16-0 with New England threatening inside the Ravens 10, Weddle picked off Tom Brady in the endzone, while also adding the Ravens only sack of the game in the second half.
Also Matt Elam came out to play. Or just hangout while Chris Hogan runs past him. All the same, I suppose.
Special Teams: C
First half grade? F
Second half grade? A
The Ravens ST unit started off miserably with a blocked field goal (Tucker’s first ‘miss’ of the season), 2 miserable Sam Koch punts, and Devin Hester opting to not fair catch anything, with one punt ending up on the Ravens 1 yard line, leading to an eventual safety for the first score of the game.
The second half? Apparently the Ravens got a nice message in the locker room at halftime, as they managed to recover a punt touched by the Patriots leading to a Ravens touchdown, then forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that led to another Ravens touchdown.
All of that said… Devin Hester needs to go.
Twenty-six pass attempts in the first half to 4 rushes. Fifty-two pass attempts to 14 rushes by the end of the game. The Ravens got away with that against Miami when they actually scored at will.
In this game where they managed a paltry 3 points to end the half? COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!
In a game where they needed to sustain drives to rest their injured defense? COMPLETELY UNJUSTIFIABLE.
I could write several thousand words about the issues overall (maybe tomorrow!) but I’ll sum it up for now:
-Hurry up offense is a pathetic joke
-Miserable game plan
Now if only Harbaugh will follow this game up with his usual coach-ese half answers and positive commentary on the most negative aspects of the game…
TEAM GRADE: C-
An extra day to prepare and yet, the Ravens looked like this was a short week for them. They were outplayed, outcoached, and outsmarted in every aspect of this game. They were fortunate it was even close. And now the Ravens MUST win out to win their division.
I still can’t believe I stayed awake for that crap…