It was one of the most underwhelming performances by any quarterback this weekend, especially when you consider Joe Flacco was leading the AFC in passing yards coming into this game. Flacco had zero touchdowns, one interception and only 187 yards passing. His quarterback rating was 34, his completion percentage was under 50 percent and he routinely missed throws, especially on third down. This was a pretty favorable match-up for Flacco and he fell flat on his face. He was lucky that his counterpart, Matt Cassel, was actually worse as the teams exchanged field goals in a punchless game through the air.
Running Backs: B+
Ray Rice was running efficiently, especially in the first half (7.4 yards-per-carry), but the Ravens didn’t have the ball much in the second half. A mixture of the Chiefs punishing ground game chewing up the clock, and Cam Cameron under-utilizing Rice kept the running backs from having a monster day. Rice had 118 combined yards on only 18 combined touches for a solid average of just over 6.5 yards-per-touch. Rice is doing his part; if he could have received 25 or more touches maybe this game isn’t so close. Bernard Pierce had only two carries for 13 yards. The Ravens had a better yards-per-carry average (5.5) than the Chiefs (4.3), despite being out-rushed by 81 yards.
Wide Receivers: D
With Flacco having such a putrid day, the receivers’ grade was doomed. Anquan Boldin had a nice follow-up to his big game last week with 4 catches for 82 yards, but the rest of the receivers had awful games. Torrey Smith came up very short in his search for consistency, as his three catches for 38 yards indicates. Jacoby Jones and Tandon Doss both came up empty as the receiving corps reeled in a meager 120 yards.
Tight Ends: F
Again, with Flacco’s struggles came a brutal day for the tight ends as well. Dennis Pitta had another disappointing game with only 3 catches for 22 yards. Ed Dickson made a brief appearance to show us all he was still alive, as he had a catch for 11 yards. This unit has produced basically nothing the past two weeks, but maybe Flacco will look more to the tight ends as he too looks to get back on track.
Offensive Line: C
The offensive line had a mixed bag, as the run blocking was solid as usual, but the pass protection was shaky. Flacco was sacked four times and generally looked rushed and uncomfortable in the pocket. Chiefs’ linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston gave the Ravens’ O-line fits all game. Again the unit did do a good job with the rushing game, and maybe this unit would perform better in pass protection if the rushing game was used more.
Offensive Coordinator: F—
Cam Cameron keeps inexplicably under-utilizing the rushing game, and it nearly cost the Ravens the victory. Rice is as about as premier as it comes in terms of all-around running backs, yet he is 16th in the league in rushing attempts per game. It was clear Flacco and the passing game were out of sync, yet he kept forcing the passing game. It was insanely stubborn considering the Ravens never trailed in this game, as well as the Chiefs’ ability to control the clock with their own punishing rushing game. The Chiefs weak link in their defense coming into the game was their rush defense, yet Cameron kept throwing the ball. The way everything unfolded dictated that Rice and the running game carry the team, but common sense didn’t prevail as the Ravens were lucky enough to squeak out a win.