Ravens Go Old School in Philly Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Report Card Ravens Go Old School in Philly

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Old school? What is this guy talking about? This wasn’t a game where our defense scored more points than the offense!

No no no, I mean old school in the sense that we’re sitting there with our chests tightening as we eek out a painful win! While Ravens fans haven’t experienced much of that recently, we spent a good 20 years exploring those feelings. 

It was a very up and down game for the Ravens, but they were able to pull off a 30-28 win and get into the bye week with a 5-1 record.

There is a ton for this team to work on and we’ll try and touch on that, but hey never say no to 5-1! Let’s break it down.

Offense 

Overall:  C

30 points and only a C? We may be getting harsh around here, but this unit is just not living up to expectations.

Where do we want to start? Lack of chemistry, lack of preparation, egregious amount of penalties? Let’s just dive right in.               

Jackson on Jackson: C-

This felt like a “classic” Lamar Jackson game, but when I say classic I mean it was like the classic-version of Jackson when he first took over the role in 2018. His best work came on the ground and his mechanics were all over the place.

One area Lamar is struggling with is passes getting batted at the line, as this was the second week in a row where there were multiple balls knocked down. He seems to be trying to compensate by trying different arm angles, but it’s hurting his trajectory and his accuracy. There were a few passes that were just straight up short of the intended target, whether it was because of his arm angle or the ball being tipped.

I expect a ton of work for Lamar during the bye week, but the reality is he just needs to re-focus on the basics. We know he can do it; we saw him do it last year.

I’m confident, but this was not a great game in the air.   

Running back: C+

I feel like I’m giving you guys the same RB write up every week, and that’s because I kind of am. The results aren’t there, but it’s just hard for me to blame the RBs. The rushing lanes just aren’t opening due to some poor run blocking on the interior offensive line (and today, a very stout Philly DL).

At first glance, the Ravens rushed for 182 yards and two scores, which sounds good. However, when you remove Jackson’s production, a different picture emerges: only 74 yards (on 28 carries) and one score came from the RBs.

The good thing is that J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards continue to look explosive, so if the run blocking can improve, I think we’re going to see a return of the 2019 rushing performances.

Wide Receiver and Tight End: B

It was nice to see the ball get spread a bit more in this game, as 25 targets were spread among eight different players. Devin Duvernay caught three of three and Nick Boyle caught all three of his as well including a score. As per usual I celebrate every single Nick Boyle score possible… he is #MyGuy.

It seemed like a struggle in the pass game, but most of it seemed to be from poor throws by Lamar or poor pass designs, which bumps their grade as a group quite a bit.

I fully expect to see an addition to this pass catching group over the bye week.

Offensive Line: D+

This group was not good today. Period.

Tyre Phillips returned from a one-game injury absence, and looked slow-footed and completely overmatched. Matt Skura and Bradley Bozeman also appeared to struggle against a very stout Eagles front.

Phillips exited the game with a hand injury and Patrick Mekari came in, but unfortunately as soon as he entered he picked up a holding penalty. Speaking of penalties, Ronnie Stanley picked up four on his own as the OL just seemed completely off in this game. Illegal formations, holding calls…you name it, they got it called on them. Some of this is just mental preparation. On one of the illegal formation calls, one of the OL was just straight up off the LOS. You can’t make mistake like that!

This bye week needs to be focused on getting the OL sorted out, specifically who is going to be the RG. We’ve seen three guys play there and I actually think Ben Powers has been the best, despite having the fewest snaps of the group. Let us know who you think should be RG in Week 8 in the comments!

Defense 

Overall: B

The defense folded a bit at the end, but through the first three quarters they were solid. Most notably, they held Carson Wentz to 50% through the air and he spent most of his day getting up after being hit. 

While you never want to see a team make a comeback, I also recognize there was some penalty yardage that worked in Philly’s favor. 

Defensive Line: B+

This was another stout performance from the defensive line, who went through today’s game without Brandon Williams. They were all over Wentz in this game, coming away with six sacks and 16 QB hits. 16!!! That’s absolutely insane.

Calais Campbell and his best game as a Raven, coming away with three sacks and four QB hits. He was in the backfield all day and provided stellar run support.

Miles Sanders was mostly bottled up before he exited with an injury, but he did find a way to take a 70-yard carry to the goal line, before fumbling and having it recovered for a TD. That and a Wentz 40-yard scramble provided 110 of the Eagles’ 194 yards. The run D still isn’t the same when Big Baby is out, but they did do fairly well up front today.

Linebackers: B+

Patrick Queen had a quieter game in this one, and it was L.J. Fort who was making plays all over the field against one of his former teams. His name kept popping out and that’s what you want to see.

Matt Judon was also largely absent, but did make a pivotal play on the Eagles’ final two-point conversion attempt, crashing on the mesh point when Wentz and Boston Scott were running an option and swallowing up Wentz when he kept it. It was perfectly played.

Defensive Backs: B-

Before I go too far, I want it very clear: that defensive pass interference call on Marcus Peters was one of the most egregiously poor calls I’ve seen this year. There’s no way that should have been DPI and it gave the Eagles a massive chunk of yards.

However, as a whole the Eagles seemed to go at Peters a bit in the second half, particularly after it looked like he was limping. He also got caught stepping up on a route on the opening drive when he thought Jimmy Smith had deep coverage over top. Luckily John Tightower dropped the ball, but it wasn’t ideal.

This was DeShon Elliott’s best game of the year: he had two forced fumbles, one pass deflection and should have had a pick, but it slipped through his hands. He was in the right spot time and again and he seems to be settling in very well.

Special Teams: A

Justin Tucker was perfect on field goals of 46 (2) and 55. Sam Koch booted the crap out of the ball. Devin Duvernay and James Proche were also very sharp on their returns and Proche was able to pull in an onside recovery with some great hands.

Offensive Play Calling: D

The play calling on offense was frustrating, as it has been for most of the year. It was at the point where it was almost predictable. Most notably, the Ravens came out the gate running on first down and going to play action on second down. However, that’s not effective when you’re not running the ball well.

So what happened? The edge players, who aren’t fooled by the play fake, glued to Jackson and he ended up throwing his passes on those 2nd downs while evading pressure. It was just a very poor strategy.

Eventually, there was some adjustment, as most notably they went with play action on 1st down and connected on a 34-yard seam to Willie Snead. This was set up as they had run on all but one first down prior to that play.

This just needs to get better. Greg Roman is still operating as if the rushing attack is unstoppable. Well, Mr. Roman, it’s stoppable this year, so until it’s on you to help them out and go off-tendency.

Credit him for the play fake draws – those worked and showed some adjustment on his part, so I’ll give him that (and bump him off an F).

Discipline: F

Twelve penalties. 132 yards.

Yes, you read that correctly.

This was unacceptable. Now don’t get me wrong; some of these were ticky-tack calls, but we had linemen lining up off the line of scrimmage or having unnecessary motions that led to illegal formation or illegal shift calls. It was just sloppy.

The roughing the passers (2) were a little soft, but that’s the risk you run getting those shots in.

Overall, it was bad and they will be running at their next practice, no doubt about it.

Game Ball          

DeShon Elliott come and get your first game ball! He showed a knack for the football and he’s settling in extremely well with Chuck Clark as his partner at safety. I’ve already forgotten about that Earl guy.

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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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