Baltimore Ravens Week 6 Offensive Grades

By James Taylor III

Grading the performances from the offense after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-29 in Baltimore on Sunday.

Quarterback:       B-

On the surface it looks like an uninspired effort from Joe Flacco, but he was actually pretty economical. The Ravens threw a season-low 26 times, but Flacco still averaged nine yards per completion and did not turn the ball over. He also did a good job spreading the ball around, as he found eight different receivers in his 17 completions. Flacco was on pace for a huge day, as he was 13-for-18 for 174 yards and had a beautiful 19-yard touchdown strike to Torrey Smith all in the first half. However, the offense had a tough time getting their hands on the ball with the Cowboys owning the time of possession. All things considered, Flacco played well enough to earn the victory despite his lack of opportunities as the Ravens still put up 31 points.

Running Backs:      C+

Ray Rice had his second-worst day of the season in regards to both yardage and yards per carry. The good news is Rice finally found the end zone for only the second game out of the previous five. Rice had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs as he hopefully reaffirmed his ability to convert short yardage situations to Cam Cameron. Rice also had a 43-yard reception as he eclipsed 100 total yards for the fourth time in six games. For once his lack of carries was not a result of questionable play-calling, as again the Cowboys ability to run all over the Ravens’ defense kept the ball out of Rice’s hands. Bernard Pierce chipped in with 21 yards, as his average yards per carry is now at 5.3 for the season. Considering the Ravens were both outgained on the ground, as well as outgained in yards-per-carry, the running backs’ grade is average at best.

Wide Receivers:     C

The lack of offensive opportunities affected the wide receivers as the unit only had nine catches. Anquan Boldin continued his run of consistency, as he led the Ravens in receiving yards for the third straight game. Boldin is averaging over a 100 yards per game in the last three games and has become Flacco’s most reliable option. Torrey Smith had a touchdown, but was still held to a paltry 24 yards on two catches. Jacoby Jones only had two catches and made little impact in the receiving game. The Ravens passing offense has begun to slip in recent weeks as they have rarely received big games from multiple wide receivers in the same game.

Tight Ends:     D-

Dennis Pitta‘s run of poor play continued as he had a mere 33 yards. He was targeted the second-most on the team behind Boldin, but Pitta now has just 55 yards over his last three games. Ed Dickson had his usual one catch for minimal yards as he continues to be irrelevant. This unit is trending the wrong way especially when you consider Pitta’s white-hot start.

Offensive Line:      B

After a couple of tough games protecting Flacco, the unit bounced back nicely. It was a big success considering the Cowboys owned the top-rated pass defense coming into the game. DeMarcus Ware did record a sack, but he is a freak and it was the only sack the Ravens allowed all game. The run blocking wasn’t the best effort of the season, but they did block their way to two 1-yard touchdown plunges. Overall it was an above average day for a unit that had been a bit shaky of late.

Offensive Coordinator:     A

Cam Cameron had his most balanced play-calling of the season. Despite getting 23 less plays than the Cowboys, the Ravens still averaged more yards per play which enabled them to stay in the game despite the huge disparity in time of possession. Another integral aspect of the game for the Ravens was their ability to improve upon their third down woes. Part of that improvement was getting in more manageable third down situations. Another encouraging sign is that Cameron gave the ball to Rice in goal line situations. Cameron had neglected Rice in numerous short-yardage situations throughout the first five games, so to see him give Rice the ball twice from the 1-yard-line was a step in the right direction for Rice and the offense as a whole. Considering the lack of opportunities for the Ravens offense, the offense still played well enough to scratch out a victory.

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