Vikings 24 Ravens 16

Report Card Vikings 24 Ravens 16

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Last week I told you to buckle up because the report card was going to be a bumpy ride. Well, I hope you kept that seat belt on.

The Ravens had another embarrassing performance in Minnesota. It’s starting to become painfully obvious that changes need to be made.

However, let’s walk through and see how each area of the team fared in this contest.

Offense: Overall: F

The Flacco Report: C-

Grading Joe Flacco becomes more and more difficult each week. He’s not doing himself any favors, but he’s playing behind a makeshift offensive line and without any help from his pass catchers.

It didn’t help things that Mike Wallace exited the game early in the first quarter.

Flacco finished 27/39 for 186 yards and 1 TD. That adds up to a very sad 4.8 average.

It’s obvious this offense does not fit Flacco, which is another factor to consider when grading him.

Flacco certainly left some plays out on the field, but he just doesn’t have much to work with, so he gets a C- on the day.

Running backs: C

It was a quiet game from the Ravens’ committee approach of Javorius Allen and Alex Collins. They carried the ball a combined 16 times for 50 yards. Michael Campanaro added a nice 19-yard rush on a reverse.

Collins looked competent, but on a few of his carries he was running against 3+ defenders in his face due to the offensive line’s failure to open some holes.

Allen is a JAG (Just A Guy) and his ceiling is likely that of a 3rd string change-of-pace back. He added 8 catches, but as usually there was nowhere to go once he had the ball.

Wide Receiver and Tight End: D-

Not having Jeremy Maclin for a second consecutive week proved to be costly again for the Ravens. They just simply don’t have anyone to make a play.

These pass catchers leave much to be desired. It’s pretty sad when the biggest plays are coming from Griff Whalen and Campanaro.

The offensive design doesn’t help, but we’ll look at that more closely in the coach section (spoiler alert: it’s going to get ugly in that part of the report card).

Offensive Line: F-

Just absolutely ugly.

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Flacco was sacked 5 times, including one where Ronnie Stanley may actually receive credit for the sack.

This line is abysmal and it’s not going to get better. The losses of Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda, as well as Nico Siragusa and Matt Skura, are just too much to overcome.

Collins was left out to dry several times and Flacco simply can’t get comfortable behind this line. He’s running for his life every other pass play.

This unit will need to be given a long hard look in the offseason. Injuries are obviously playing a role, but Austin Howard is struggling as well.

Defense: D

Brandon Williams is back so the run defense is going to be better!

Yeah, just kidding. It was still abysmal.

Dean Pees continues to earn his reputation as the worst defensive coordinator in the league and this is turning into an embarrassing unit.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome poured numerous resources into this unit and it just isn’t paying off. A bland scheme with very little going on is making it extremely hard for the defense to do anything.

Defensive Line and Edge Rushers: F

This unit is becoming an embarrassment. The defensive line group was given a heck of a lot of resources over the last few years and it can’t even stop the run.

Latavius Murray rumbled for 113 yards and a score and Jerick McKinnon added 47 yards.

The pass rush is non-existent and only registered 3 QB hits and no sacks.

This defense rarely sends extra guys, relying on a bland 4-man rush to do the damage. The defensive line unit doesn’t even use stunts to try and mix it up.

Pees is not helping this group whatsoever and it’s just embarrassing after all of the investment.

Linebackers: F

C.J. Mosley is making Ravens fans seriously consider whether or not he’s going to be worth top ILB money this offseason. He just isn’t making a big enough impact.

Patrick Onwuasor had a great play by sniffing out the screen and whacking McKinnon, but the problem is he just doesn’t do that enough.

The real issue with these linebackers is Pees drops them back into Tampa-2-looking linebacker coverages and it just does not work. They are not filling gaps and are spending most of their time covering the same areas of the field. It’s very easy for an offense to adjust and attack that area.

Minnesota did that by calling screens and quick passes often into areas of the field with no one around.

Defensive Backs: C-

The DB group should probably be a little higher, but let’s look at two very important missing features of the Minnesota offense:

— No Stefon Diggs

— No Sam Bradford (And, of course, no Teddy Bridgewater)

One guy who is proving he needs to lose playing time is Lardarius Webb. He just can’t cut it in the slot and Case Keenum went after him all game. Jaylen Hill needs to see those snaps.

A more useful approach would be to play Webb deep, Tony Jefferson in the box and Hill in the slot. We all know Pees couldn’t put all of that together, so hopes should stay low. This group was also given significant resources in Eric Weddle, Jefferson and Brandon Carr as free agent signings, but then the Ravens went out and drafted Marlon Humphrey first overall. From that perspective, it’s pretty disappointing this unit isn’t locking down the opposition.

Oh, and for fun – let’s look at how the guy drafted one spot after Humphrey did today:

O.J. Howard – 6 catches, 98 yards, 2 TD

So, hey we have a depth corner and no one on offense who can make a play…. disappointing.

Special Teams: C

I had to google who Marcus Sherels was. He burnt the Ravens punt coverage team for a 46-yard game and finished with 83 yards on 3 returns.

Justin Tucker was money as per usual (3 for 3) and connected on a 57-yarder. He’s proving to be the best offensive player on the Ravens for the second season in a row.

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Coaching: F- (Can I go lower!?)

Marty Mornhinweg’s certainly in over his head. He has lost a significant number of players to injury and Newsome failed to provide his unit with any depth to overcome said injuries. That being said, this scheme just does not work. We’re seeing a 1-yard passes to the flats that are immediately swallowed up.

It’s getting painful to watch this offense. It sucks for Marty that he lost so many players, but in no way has the play design done anything to put these guys in a position to succeed.

Dean Pees should have been fired a long time ago. It’s waste of time to call for him to be fired. It’s not going to happen despite it obviously being the right thing to do. He is easily turning a unit with a lot of skill into the embarrassment of the NFL.

I would praise him if he could just call one stunt on the defensive line. Just do something! Anything! But nope, we’re going to drop everyone directly off their man and rush 4 for the rest of the season.

Game Ball

Justin Tucker. He’s one player that this coaching staff clearly can’t ruin.

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Cole Jackson

About Cole Jackson

Cole Jackson has been an avid follower of the Baltimore Ravens for over a decade. Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, Cole’s love for the Ravens was born and bred in following the playing style of Ray Lewis, which he tried to emulate in his own football career, (ultimately failing to do so). Cole graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Criminology before becoming a Policy Analyst with the federal government. Cole’s football career now involves being a columnist for RSR, yelling at others who are beating him in Madden and being a regular on the RSR forum where he is known as GreatWhiteNorthRaven. Cole has a knack for the team-building aspects of the Ravens, which includes player scouting, free agency and the draft. More from Cole Jackson

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