Defensive Line: C
There were plenty of positives and negatives from the defensive line after Sunday’s loss.
On the positive side, the line did a much better job stopping the run this time around against the Steelers. Pittsburgh ran for less than 100 yards after they outrushed the Ravens by 87 yards two weeks ago.
After gouging the Ravens two weeks ago, Jonathan Dwyer was held to just 3.1 yards per carry. Dwyer did score, but the defensive line allowed the Ravens to win the rushing battle.
Arthur Jones had another solid day as he was the best member of the defensive line for a second straight week.
Jones had another sack, his third in the last two games. He led all defensive lineman in tackles as well with four tackles. His recent play has been well-timed because the rest of the D-Line has been pretty irrelevant for most of the season.
Those who have been largely irrelevant include Terrence Cody, Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Pernell McPhee. Those three linemen combined for four tackles as they continue to be mediocre at best. Haloti Ngata only had one tackle as well, so it was another inconsistent effort from this unit, earning them an average grade.
It wasn’t a bad day for the linebackers, but it also wasn’t a great effort.
No linebacker registered more than five tackles and it was a mediocre effort from this unit as well.
Jameel McClain and Albert McClellan led all linebackers with a mere five tackles. McClain did lead the team with two tackles for a loss, but this unit definitely missed their de facto leader in Dannell Ellerbe.
Paul Kruger registered another sack, but it was his only tackle in the game. Rookie Josh Bynes got his most reps of the season and had a career-high three tackles.
Terrell Suggs only had two tackles and left the game in the fourth quarter with a biceps injury, so that is another major area of concern for this unit.
If Suggs has to miss time, it will be another crippling blow to a thin unit.
Considering this unit was facing an ancient quarterback who came off piloting his offense to an eye-popping eight turnovers, this game has to be seen as a disappointment.
Ed Reed and Corey Graham each had an interception, but this unit allowed Charlie Batch to complete nearly 70 percent of his 36 attempts.
Four different Steelers receivers had over 44 yards as Batch spread the ball around and stymied the Ravens’ defense, especially on the Steelers’ game-winning drive.
Batch completed his final eight passes en route to the upset victory, so the secondary looked vulnerable at the end of the shocking loss.
Graham had the best day of any member of the secondary as he led the team with 11 tackles to go along with his interception.
Bernard Pollard was near the top of the leading tacklers per usual with eight tackles, while Cary Williams chipped in with five tackles.
Reed’s day was extremely opportunistic, but not solid overall. The veteran safety had the aforementioned interception and also recovered an Emmanuel Sanders fumble, but Reed registered only one tackle on the day.
Overall, the unit didn’t play horribly, but considering how good this match-up looked coming into the game, a slightly below average grade is in order.