Baltimore Ravens: Week 9 Offensive Grades
It was a disappointing day for Joe Flacco as he had a very pedestrian 153 yards passing, one touchdown and no turnovers. It was a far cry from his 356 yards passing and two total touchdowns against the Browns in week 4, but Flacco also didn’t do anything to sabotage the game. Flacco’s play in the second half was very weak as he only threw for 53 yards, but did orchestrate two fourth-quarter scoring drives that eventually proved to be the difference after the Browns took a one-point lead just over six minutes into the final quarter. Overall though Flacco was average at best as his streak of unimpressive games continued.
Running Backs: B-
It wasn’t the best day on the ground as far as yards per carry, but both Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce found the end zone in the first quarter. Rice and Pierce combined for 91 yards rushing in the first half, as it appeared the Ravens were finally going to have a monster rushing game. However, after the fast start, the run game came to a screeching halt in the second half. Rice only had 32 yards rushing on 12 carries in the second half, while Pierce only mustered one rushing yard. The running game was again uncreative as the Browns expected the run and stopped it with great success as they climbed back into the game and eventually took the lead. Rice was non-existent in the passing game also, as he was held under 17 yards receiving for the third time in four games. Rice was out-gained for the second time this season by his counterpart, Trent Richardson, so paired with Flacco’s uninspiring effort, the Ravens were lucky to win by 10 points.
Wide Receivers: C-
With the mediocre performance from Flacco came another ho-hum day from the wide receivers. Anquan Boldin was solid but unspectacular as he reeled in all five of his targets for 57 yards. He led the team in receiving for a fourth time and also caught a big two-point conversion. Torrey Smith did score a nice 19-yard touchdown on a spin-move after the catch, but caught only three of his remaining eight targets for a paltry 27 yards. No other receiver besides Smith and Boldin made a catch, further contributing to the punchless passing game. All things considered, this unit combined for only 103 total yards, so they continue to leave more to be desired.
Tight Ends: D-
The play of the tight ends continues to spiral downward with the rest of the passing game, as the unit combined for a mere 44 yards. Both Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson were targeted three times apiece, as they each had two grabs for 33 yards and 11 yards respectively. Pitta did have a big 27-yard catch that led to a score, but had only one other grab for six yards. Dickson’s two catches tied a season-high, which exemplifies how disappointing his season has been.
Offensive Line: B-
It was a solid bounce-back effort after a couple of rough games for the offensive line. They were improved in pass protection, as they only allowed one sack for eight yards. They also did a solid job overall in run blocking, especially in the first half, as they ran the ball down the throats of the Browns’ defense for roughly 100 yards by the half. The run game did get a bit stale in the second half, but it wasn’t the o-line’s fault entirely. Bobbie Williams looked better than he had in recent weeks after he got the start at left tackle for the injured Ramon Harewood.
Offensive Coordinator: C
Cam Cameron finally gave Rice an ample amount of carries (25), but the run game was pretty vanilla overall. The yards per carry average of 3.7 for the game has to be considered a disappointment considering how good things looked in the first half. The passing game continued to struggle as the unit now sits 15th in the league in terms of yards per game. Flacco again looked uncomfortable as the passing game continues to regress. All things considered, the offense was lucky to get 25 points because the overall execution and numbers indicate otherwise. The Browns had the league’s 26th-ranked defense coming in, so the lack of offensive consistency against a porous defense has to be considered disappointing despite the 25 points.