Alright who was that team? And where have they been the last two weeks?
Last night was set up to be a bad outing for the Ravens. One of the league’s worst rush defense against a team that feeds their RB, a backup QB and a defensive line against our questionable offensive line. It was not looking good.
However, the Ravens executed what was almost a perfect game plan. This was very similar to the matchup last year when Baltimore smacked Miami 38-6. I suppose the boys enjoying eating mahi-mahi after their Maryland-style crab cakes!
Offense: Overall: A-
The Flacco Report: B+
I will cover the absurdity that was Kiko Alonso at the bottom of the grades.
Focusing on Flacco’s performance, he gets a B+. The deep connection with Jeremy Maclin was the Flacco that this fan base grew to love. It’s important to note that his line gave him ample time on that throw and there was no pressure. Create conditions like that and Flacco can play well. He also deserves credit for recognizing that he had a free play, with 12 Miami defenders on the field.
Flacco finished 10/15 for 101 yards and 1 TD.
He still had some questionable throws, which is why he’s only at a B+, including a -2-yard completion to Benjamin Watson in the flat. Watson had to adjust back and lost yards because of it. Flacco needs to become more consistent moving forward. We’re all praying for a speedy recovery.
Running back: A
Alex Collins is a legitimate starting NFL RB. He runs with purpose and he almost always makes at least one man miss. That’s what you need in this league. Collins rumbled for 113 yards on 18 carries and grabbed 2 catches for 30 yards. The dude was born to make plays.
It’s a shame they don’t feed him on the goal line to help out his stat line. Instead they like to go to Javorius Allen. Allen finished with 55 yards on 17 carries.
It’s becoming abundantly clear that Collins is the better running back and he needs the carries to go with that. Keep feeding him and let him get in a groove.
Wide Receiver and Tight End: C+
Welcome back Jeremy Maclin! You have been missed.
Drops continue to be a problem for this group of pass-catchers, but they didn’t get much work yesterday so they’re going to sit at a C+.
It’s not an exciting group and the result of that seems to be a very non-exciting write up every week.
Offensive Line: A
Wow. Where have these guys been? Did Matt Skura make that big of a difference?
The trenches came up big in the performance. The Ravens allowed no sacks, just 3 QB hits and the Dolphins only had 3 tackles for a loss on 40 Baltimore carries.
When Alonso laid that dirty hit on Flacco it was Jensen that was right in there to dish the dirt out to Alonso. That’s what I want to see from my offensive linemen. That shows Flacco those guys have his back.
Austin Howard also went after Suh when he literally grabbed Mallett by the throat. These guys on the line are reminding fans what “Play Like a Raven” really means.
Jay Ajayi has been getting fed for weeks in this Miami offense. Baltimore has been getting smashed on the ground for weeks. Match made in heaven for Miami, right?
Wrong. The Ravens got back to their roots last night by shutting down the run, forcing Miami to pass and then taking advantage. This is how the Ravens had those two dominant defensive outings to start the season against the Bengals and Browns.
Defensive Line and Edge Rushers: A-
Brandon Williams made his presence known after having a rough return last week. The nose tackle position is a very underrated in football. They don’t always have flashy stats, but they make a lot of things happen away from the ball. The most important is eating up blockers. That’s what B-Will did last night and why the Ravens stopped the run so effectively.
Ajayi was held to 23 yards on 13 carries, 21 of which came on his first carry. That means that his other 12 carries netted 2 yards.
This unit was buzzing all night.
I criticized Mosley pretty heavily last week and hinted at the game against the Vikings being an example of why he may not be worth top ILB money.
Well I think he read the article because he had a heck of a game last night. He had 4 tackles, half a sack, 1 pass deflection, 2 QB hits and of course the pick-6 that sealed the game. Please keep this up C.J.
Ravens fans want to get excited about Patrick Onwuasor, but he just isn’t consistent enough. Maybe it’s a matter of just putting it all together, but with the failure of both Peanut and Kamalei Correa to hold down that other ILB spot, it opens up a need.
Defensive Backs: A-
It was a much better performance from the DB group. Jimmy Smith continues to lock down his man and added a pick-6 for good measure. Marlon Humphrey is showing us why he was drafted in the first round. He’s like a magnet. He just sticks to his guy in stride. He’s also getting better each game, which is what you want from your rookies.
Tony Jefferson answered the critics who said he can’t tackle. He made a beautiful open field tackle in the first quarter last night and smacked Moore on one of his 44 drop backs.
Eric Weddle continues to leave us unimpressed this year, but he wasn’t a liability last night.
Special Teams: C
Not much to see here. Great coverage and Justin Tucker continues to do his part. However, they get a C because of the blocked FG. Poor Tucker. He has 3 misses in the last 2 years and 2 of them were because they were blocked.
I railed on both Marty Mornhinweg and Dean Pees last week, but they answered the criticism. They both called very good games.
However, let’s acknowledge the important thing about Pees. In the second half he noticeably started playing off the line of scrimmage. Miami marched the field and it resulted in the Mosley pick-6.
So the result is great, but it’s the coaching behind it. The issue is that Pees does that when we’re up only a score and it’s resulted in several blown leads. That’s clearly not going to change with Pees and it’s a concern moving forward.
The Conduct of the Miami Dolphins: F-
The actions of the Miami Dolphins players last night was just disgusting. This is an era of the NFL where they are consciously making rule changes to protect the quarterback. The defensive players know this. Alonso had this to say:
“It was a bang-bang play. I thought if maybe he slid a second sooner, I was anticipating him sliding, and not hit him. But I think it was a second late; that’s why I hit him.”
I call serious BS on that. If he was truly going for the tackle thinking he wasn’t going to slide then Flacco would have slid right under the tackle. He adjusted and contacted his head.
It was a dirty hit and now we may be without our starting quarterback.
And to make matters worse, Suh at one point literally grabs Mallett by his throat.
Ravens get the last laugh and Ravens fans had a long, long laugh at the Dolphins trying to play football last night. It’s a long flight home for a group of sore losers.
Ryan Jensen: this may seem like a reach, but I think his reaction after the Flacco hit and his ability to get under the opponent’s skin all night is very underrated. Talk about a team bonding moment.