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Report Card: Ravens 24 Jets 9

Lamar Jackson Jets Week 1
Joey Pulone/Baltimore Ravens
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The Ravens alternated between bouts of brilliance and sleepwalking throughout the day, but secured a 24-9 win on the road against the New York Jets, and that leads to a 1-0 record. And, with that, this will be a report card of some various levels of success.

Offense

Overall: D+

The Ravens generated 271 yards of offense and 14 first downs on the day, and only ran for 60 yards. That’s not so good. They also coughed up a turnover and saw their starting left tackle — who has been subbing in for their starting left tackle — get carted off the field with what looked to be a bad injury (later confirmed as a torn Achilles). But they avoid a lower grade by producing some splash plays that made the difference in the day.

It just felt rusty out there, particularly in a first half that saw the Ravens produce 81 total yards, with just 11 on the ground, their lowest first-half total since 2016.

Quarterback: B+

Lamar Jackson gave us a signature scramble-and-run in the opening drive of the second half and threw three absolutely gorgeous touchdown passes, to go with a ridiculous toss to Mark Andrews on a 3rd-and-8 play in the fourth quarter. But he also unleashed a badly underthrown pick at the end of the game, missed a couple easy ones and never really developed any kind of rapport with Isaiah Likely. Still, the superstar made the superstar plays to lead the team to a win. A good day.

Running Backs: C-

The trio of Kenyan Drake, Mike Davis and Justice Hill produced 43 yards on 15 carries. There’s not a lot to like there — plus, Davis fumbled a ball that the Ravens were fortunate to recover. But they didn’t get a lot of room to operate, especially in that first half. I did think Drake made a bit of an impression, running hard and showing some “quicks.”

Receivers: B

They didn’t get a ton of volume, but both Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman made huge impacts in this game. Duvernay made a terrific catch on a fade from Jackson for a touchdown, and later shook loose to get wide open for his second score of the game. Bateman used a subtle move to get behind the defense for a 55-yard score. Mark Andrews contributed five catches for 52 yards, including that amazing sideline connection with Jackson. Demarcus Robinson showed the ability to make guys miss on two short catches, and drew a deep interference penalty that sparked the Ravens’ first touchdown drive.

Offensive Line: D

There wasn’t a lot of room for the backs to operate, and there were some moments where Jackson was hurried before he even had a chance to react. Tyler Linderbaum had a tough start to his rookie campaign, but he also showed a bit better in the second half, especially on a nice block to spring Drake on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter. I felt the unit battled, but the left tackle position is creating some angst. Morgan Moses seemed to be beat in the first half for a sack, but I felt like he held up fairly well on the game.

Defense

Overall: A-

The Ravens did give up 378 yards for the game, but a lot of that was in garbage time. The front did a tremendous job pressuring our old friend Joe Flacco on the game, Patrick Queen had a strong first game and Marcus Williams announced his presence with authority, as they say. Mike Macdonald showed a lot to like with his first live performance.

Defensive Line: A

This was my unit of the game. They were crazy good. Justin Madubuike and Michael Pierce were tremendous from the start — possibly the two best players on the field for this day. Calais Campbell hurried Flacco into an early intentional grounding and stuffed a few run plays. And Broderick Washington shined as well, batting down a pass and hitting and hurrying Flacco. He had a sack called back late on a holding call by Fuller. I thought Madubuike was MVP.

Linebacker: B+

Patrick Queen really had a nice game, exploding up the middle on run defense and pass-rush, and flying sideline to sideline. He got bailed out on a dropped pass late that would have been a touchdown, but it was a strong game for Queen in what is a big year for him. Justin Houston was another standout on the game, providing constant pass-rush and doing a good job holding the edge. Outside of a late hurry on a pass rush, Odafe Oweh was pretty quiet. He did appear to be double-teamed on the edge early, and got squeezed in on a long outside run to his side.

Defensive Backs: B

They were pretty sticky in coverage, and Marcus Williams shined in his debut, getting a pick that set up an early score and providing good tackling all game, pacing the team with eight tackles. Marlon Humphrey was good in coverage throughout and had a fumble recovery. Chuck Clark missed two tackles on Michael Carter in the first half, but did redeem himself forcing that fumble that Humphrey recovered. Kyle Fuller was solid throughout, but that injury didn’t look great. Obviously, we hope for the best for him. Kyle Hamilton made a nice tackle on a short pass and played deep a few times with Williams in Cover 2. Brandon Stephens was very good in coverage, even playing tight on that late touchdown pass.

Special Teams: B

It was a clean performance, and rookie punter Jordan Stout gave a nice showing in his debut. The Jets missed a field goal and an extra point, and shanked a punt. So, the Ravens had the better unit. That’s a win.

Coaching: B-

The offense was fairly atrocious in the first half, and never truly got going. That said, there were some nice things as well, especially the route design on Duvernay’s second touchdown that worked beautifully. Defensively, I thought Macdonald did a great job. There were a lot of guys showing blitz who blitzed, others who backed into coverage, and plenty of getting guys upfield to blow things up. I liked the solid approach on the back end, too. Queen was deployed probably the best way he could be deployed — as an attacking weapon.

The Ravens need to get a handle on this offense if they want to find consistency this season. Splash plays and Mark Andrews will save you in some close games — but not all of them.

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