As the weeks progress through the 2017 season, the Ravens continually become a little bit harder to watch.
That team yesterday looked nothing like the one that showed up for last Thursday’s duel with the Miami Dolphins.
This is exactly what characterizes the last few seasons – consistently inconsistent.
Let’s see how each unit fared.
Offense – Overall: D
The Flacco Report: C+
Another game with 50+ passes for Joe Flacco. Flacco finished 34/52 for 261 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT. It’s becoming extremely frustrating to watch Flacco in this offensive design by Marty Mornhinweg. It just doesn’t work for Flacco and the skill players. 34 competitions for only 261 yards is unacceptable.
Flacco continued his streak of uninspiring football. There’s nothing worse than those two-minute drills with Flacco somberly walking to the line and calling out plays.
But, as usual, it’s hard to fault the guy too much. He doesn’t have much to work with and he now has 6 INT on the year that have been deflected off the hands of the pass-catcher, including another from Breshad Perriman yesterday.
We’ll touch on the specifics in the pass-catcher section.
However, his second pick was completely on him – he threw late and with awful mechanics, and there’s no excuse for that to continue to happen as it has.
Running back: C
A road game after Alex Collins plowed the Miami Dolphins and he only has 13 carries? Unacceptable. This is the second straight year with another offensive coordinator where the run game is repeatedly abandoned.
It’s infuriating to watch, especially when you have a guy like Collins who can make so much happen.
The Titans deserve a lot of credit as they swarmed Collins all day and this is part of a larger problem of the offense in terms of how they game plan and, more importantly, how they execute the game plan.
Buck Allen scored on a pass from the goalline, but was unable to pick up short yardage (with an assist from some shoddy officiating) on a couple occasions. Why he is the short-yardage back with Collins on the roster is another question in itself.
Wide Receiver and Tight End: D
Please allow me to excuse Jeremy Maclin from this grade (Seriously Jeremy, you’re great, don’t ever change).
I fail to see how Breshad Perriman continues to see snaps. Not only should he not be on the field, but he should be cut. He’s actually become a liability and is actively causing turnovers.
As mentioned in the Flacco Report, 6 of Flacco’s 10 season INT have hit his receiver first. They are credited, as follows:
3 – Breshad Perriman
1 – Jeremy Maclin
1 – Chris Moore
1 – Terrance West (this one is debatable, as it was thrown behind West on a simple throw, but it still meets the criteria of INT having hit a Raven before the defender touched it).
That is unacceptable and it’s embarrassing. This group does not fit the scheme of Mornhinweg and seeing Ben Watson continue to run 1-yard flats is just infuriating.
Offensive Line: C-
Baltimore’s offensive line had a nice resurgence against the Dolphins, but yesterday the front 7 of the Titans was too much for them.
They had virtually no push in the run game and Collins was left to find holes himself far too many times.
The pass protection wasn’t very good. Flacco was sacked twice and hit 5 other times. This has got to be a position of focus in the offseason. Injuries suck and Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda would make a difference, but Austin Howard just has not been good enough.
The Ravens invested in their defense in a way that should make them an elite unit. Elite units perform better than this.
It’s fair to say they are in a tough position at times because the offense doesn’t sustain drives, but it seems when they need a big stop they just don’t get it. This is something that characterizes Dean Pees’ tenure in Baltimore.
I highly encourage you to read Filmstudy’s article from Sunday. It nicely covers exactly what the issue with Dean Pees is, so I won’t beat a dead horse here.
Defensive Line and Edge Rushers: B+
The defensive line had a solid game. A big concern was the Titans running back duo of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray. However, they were held in check for 45 yards on 17 carries. Henry did punch in a score though.
Overall, they were solid as unit, but just weren’t enough to make a difference.
Paying Mosley is going to be awfully difficult. He continued his inconsistent season by laying an egg yesterday after being dominant in the Dolphins game.
The issue with Mosley is that he doesn’t cover very well, as evidenced by the Delanie Walker 25-yard catch in the fourth quarter. How do you pay a guy when you don’t know what’s coming each week?
On the flip side of that debate, the Ravens currently have nothing at ILB and Patrick Onwuasor continues to not make a difference as the other starter. Kamalei Correa also continues to rot on the bench and push a little bit closer to bust status.
Defensive Backs: C
The Titans utilized big plays to move the ball and got their points yesterday. This has been an issue for the Ravens secondary even in the first two games when they were absolutely dominant.
That said, Jimmy Smith continued his strong season before Marlon Humphrey seemed to take over for him, likely due to his Achilles injury acting up. Humphrey has also been a solid player for the Ravens and is really earning his playing time.
Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson continue to be a frustrating (and overpaid) duo. Weddle did bring in an interception, but he has not been the force this year that he was last year. Jefferson also hasn’t been earning his contract dollars, but it’s hard to expect much when Pees doesn’t seem to understand how to use him.
Maurice Canady looked solid in his first game back and he will be a welcome addition moving forward.
Special Teams: B-
Another game where there just isn’t much to talk about. The B- is mostly due to that puzzling Sam Koch punt that went about 20 yards, negating the perfectly-executed fake pass he pulled off prior. Justin Tucker was perfect and the coverage teams did their job against an always dangerous Adoree’ Jackson.
This could use its own article (give me a few days). To summarize, it’s laughable. There is zero reason that Dean Pees should be employed any longer for this team, but yet we get to watch the same thing over and over again under the name of ‘continuity’. It’s a joke.
Mornhinweg designed an offense that does not fit this team. Most thought it would be different than Marc Trestman’s, but it’s all too similar. The offense looks completely disorganized on the two-minute drill, and whether it’s due to them not having a plan or Joe Flacco just not executing, it’s on Mornhinweg’s shoulders. It continues to plague this team and they continue to waste time at the end of games.
And, of course, all of this lies at the feet of John Harbaugh, who decided to move forward with these two. Harbaugh has made numerous game management mistakes in the last two weeks. The latest was going for it on 4th and 1 when they could have taken the field goal, not wasted time and been within a score. The Ravens went on to kill the clock down, get the score and have no chance to get the ball back.
Also it should be noted that the Ravens are starting to look disinterested and it raises the question of if Harbaugh is starting to lose the room.
Jeremy Maclin – one of the few guys who showed up yesterday. Maclin finished with 8 catches on 9 targets for 98 yards. It’s a shame our offense wasn’t more successful. Maclin could really be a force.