Defensive Line: C+
It was a mixed bag for the defensive line, as they did a lot of good things despite getting gashed in the run game.
Haloti Ngata was the most active he had been in weeks, as he had five tackles and two quarterback hits. The latter hit was the blow that knocked Robert Griffin III out of the game with a knee injury, so Ngata’s presence was definitely felt.
Arthur Jones continued to build upon a very successful string of games, as he added another 1.5 sacks onto his season total. Jones had four total tackles and three quarterback hits, so he also continued his strong play.
Ma’ake Kemoeatu chipped in with two tackles, a pass defended and was part of a forced fumble, while Pernell McPhee had two tackles, one for a loss, and a quarterback hit.
The Broncos did rush for 179 yards, so the line did get pushed around in that department.
All things considered there was some good individual efforts despite the large number of yards allowed, thus a slightly above average grade.
It was another mediocre effort from the linebackers despite Paul Kruger’s big day.
Kruger had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery as he had another big day individually. Kruger has really emerged since Ray Lewis’ injury, as he has been the best linebacker since taking on a bigger role in Week 7.
However the rest of the linebacking corp was pretty quiet as both Terrell Suggs and Dannell Ellerbe missed the game due to injury.
The linebackers were below average in both run and pass defense, but the grade gets bumped up due to Kruger’s effort.
The secondary had a below average day with a miserable end of regulation.
The secondary allowed RG3 to complete 58 percent of his passes and did not force a turnover.
Even worse, the defense allowed rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins to complete both of his two passes for 26 yards and the eventual game-tying touchdown.
Cousins threw a touchdown on his second pass, as the Ravens’ secondary inexplicably left Pierre Garcon wide open for the touchdown with 29 seconds left in regulation. Ed Reed was a big culprit on the play as he patrolled an area in the end zone where there wasn’t a Redskins’ player, leaving Garcon alone to make the catch.
Cousins then ran it in for the two-point conversion sending the game to overtime for the Redskins to win.
Overall the secondary combined for one pass defended, zero quarterback hits and zero tackles for loss, so it was a day of inactivity.
That inactivity was a contributing factor in the loss, as the Ravens’ secondary couldn’t make that big play to preserve an eight-point fourth quarter lead.
After making a habit of bending without breaking, the Ravens’ secondary is starting to get exposed.