So I know the Ravens defense was really MIA today, but I want to fill you in on a little secret… I found the D!
They’ve actually been hiding on this report card all along.
Let’s just tough this out (and a big shoutout to Cole Jackson for asking me to fill in this week, of all miserable weeks…)
Through three quarters, I probably would’ve given Lamar Jackson a B grade. He had very few incompletions, with most being of the incompletion variety, or a fancy Chris Moore ‘where the hell is the sideline?’ variety.
But for me, three plays dropped his grade to a C: the bad decision deep ball into double coverage that was picked off, the lack of sensing pressure on a desperation drive with five minutes left that went straight up and also got picked off, and his miscommunication with Mark Andrews that resulted in a turnover on downs.
Those three plays were game changers and Lamar again struggled to find consistency at times in this game.
Wide Receivers: C-
Seth Roberts (4 catches on 5 targets for 36 yards) was the bright spot and that’s pretty sad. Hollywood Brown (4/7/22) had a brutal 3rd down drop and a drop in the back of the end zone (low throw by LJ but should’ve been caught),
Miles Boykin only had one target on the day (granted for a touchdown), Willie Snead (2/2/61/1) was non-existent until junk-time, and Chris Moore had one target…on which he couldn’t show an ability to walk & chew gum, as he stepped on the sideline making the catch. The Ravens direly need anybody to step up at wideout, and instead, everyone goes dark once again.
Running Back: C+
Mark Ingram (12 for 71 for 5.9 per carry) was actually very solid when given the chance, but once the Ravens got down big, he was basically rendered useless. Gus Edwards (6/28/4.7) also did fine, but again, useless down big. Justice Hill was used on occasion but same results.
So how can I fault the RB group here? Ingram’s fumble was the momentum shift in this game. That’s why.
Tight Ends: C
Mark Andrews (4 catches on 8 targets for 31 yards and a TD) barely saw usage, and his key drop in the first half killed a drive, while his miscommunication with Lamar down 15 in the second half did once again. Hayden Hurst (2/39) was fine. Nick Boyle (1/9) sure, whatever.
Just no plays to earn love, and major, costly errors killed them.
Offensive Line: C
I’ll probably get killed by RSR’s Offensive Line guru Cole Jackson if I go too high, or too low… so I settle at a C. Held up well to break Gus and Ingram for a few big runs (Bozeman I noticed on a few occasions in a positive light), but also allowed the Browns to get in Lamar’s face entirely too often today too. This is me playing it safe.
Overall Offense: C–
They just… they didn’t impress me consistently. A few wow plays were great, but too many mental errors (a theme, once again, for the entire team) killed drives that were crucial late in the game and led to becoming one-dimensional on offense and giving away easy points.
Defensive Line: D
Couldn’t stop Nick Chubb. Couldn’t pressure Baker Mayfield at all. Literally, their only two jobs on the day. I get that the absence of Brandon Williams looms large, but I expected much more out of this group against a questionable Browns offensive line.
For the outside linebacker: see DL grade notes above (Tyus Bowser had the only sack). F
or the inside linebackers, I watched Kenny Young blow up a few plays in the backfield, then get eaten by Tight Ends and backs many more times. Peanut was a step slow more often than not, and the unit just didn’t exist today. I know I sound like a broken record, but this is exactly what the Ravens were today: non-existent.
Where do you even start here? Like… congrats to Maurice Canady for making a pick, and then quickly reverting to the practice squad player that we know him to be. Getting turned inside out by Nick Chubb on a big run where he didn’t even try to shimmy or cut wide… that was pathetic. Marlon Humphrey was the only bright spot but even he couldn’t mask the pathetic effort by both safeties today that have no idea what they’re doing back there anymore, or Brandon Carr giving a day-long cushion that reminds me of Lardarius Webb in his final days.
Overall Defense: D-
The Ravens Defense just gave up 530 total yards of defense to the Cleveland Browns. They couldn’t pressure Mayfield, couldn’t stop the run, gave up a million yards of YAC… If you don’t think they deserve a D grade overall, I’d love for you to justify in the comment section.
Special Teams: A, I guess, or whatever.
I’m too flippant, angry, and short-fused to care how the special teams did today. They didn’t screw anything up is how they did – the only unit on the entire team…
Yup. I’m doing this. The defensive gameplan was atrocious for the second game in a row, the offense… if Greg Roman looked at Twitter for like, 2 seconds, he’d see hundreds of fans giving him better laid out gameplans than he comes up with, and Harbaugh?
Head coaches coach their coordinators and positional coaches. Clearly, John struggled with this once again. The team came out flat, unprepared, and showing they’ve fixed nothing since last week. That all reflects directly on the head coach. I’m not ready to say hot seat yet – not even warming up – but if the next two games follow suit?
We may be having a new conversation…
TEAM GRADE: D
This was the most pathetic all-around showing by the Ravens that’s I’ve witnessed in ages… I’d say London is right there. And what makes it worse, in my opinion, is that the amount of self-inflicted wounds – three drops, Moore’s sideline screw-up, three turnovers, miscommunication all day in the secondary, missed assignments on both sides of the ball – were the biggest difference makers in this game.
The Ravens have shown signs of these issues since the Arizona game (at least defensively) and if they don’t right the ship soon? They could be looking at a better chance of a top-10 pick than a bottom-10 pick come 2020.