Baltimore Ravens: Week 6 Report Card
Baltimore Ravens Report Card
The Ravens struggled to run the ball once again in what has become a troubling trend for the defending Super Bowl champs. The Ravens' defense was strong again, and did an admirable job containing the explosive Packers' offense. However, they managed to give up the biggest plays in the most inopportune moments, a small handful of plays which proved to be the difference between winning and losing.
Joe Flacco had his best day statistically, but his comeback attempt proved to be too little too late, as the offense took over three quarters to get rolling.
Baltimore did some good things against one of the league's most dangerous teams, and they did some bad things. So, who received passing marks on the day? Click along to find out.
Flacco had a good day statistically, but a lot of his yards and the big touchdown came after the game had been all-but decided. Blown coverage in the secondary allowed him to get the big fourth-down completion to Tandon Doss, and he then threw a great touch pass to Dallas Clark for the touchdown to make things interest late, but his defense could not close the door to allow the comeback.
The only reason Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce don’t receive failing marks is because there is not much of an argument to make in regards to the holes the offensive line opened up. Still, 2.1 yards on 22 carries is not going to get the job done.
In the passing game, Rice got the ball in space a number of times, including on a late third and long where the defense was playing off of him. He could not make the explosive cuts we are accustomed to seeing, and there has to be serious concern for Ravens’ fans that Rice’s non-contact hip injury from a few weeks ago is much worse than has been disclosed.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Torrey Smith was shut down (one catch, 12 yards) for the first time this season, but his buddies were there to pick up the slack. Dallas Clark had a “turn back the clock” game with 81 yards and a one-handed touchdown grab, while Tandon Doss had his best game as a pro. Jacoby Jones and rookie Marlon Brown returned from injury to contribute over 100 yards and a touchdown between them.
That sure looked like Clay Matthews out there with the long hair and three sacks. No, it was the less-heralded linebacker A.J. Hawk who was free and clear on his way to Flacco and picked up the slack for the injured Matthews.
The blocking for the rushing game was not much better, as they failed to convert on third and fourth and one at the goal line in a late first-half drive that could have swung the momentum to Baltimore’s side.
The team debuted the recently-traded for Eugene Monroe, but the results were about the same, with Flacco battered and the backs unable to get going. Two straight false start penalties in the third quarter did not help this unit’s continuity, either
The Ravens like center Gino Gradkowski, who seems like an intelligent, good-chemistry guy. However, like his quarterback brother Bruce, maybe he is just not an answer as a long-term starter, as the team has been beaten at the point of attack in the interior all season.
Eddie Lacy ran all over this team en route to 120 yards, and that starts in the trenches. To make matters worse, when the Ravens desperately needed a stop to attempt a comeback win, they simply could not stop the rookie back, who converted the clinching first down run. Only Arthur Jones provided any pressure on the Rodgers, as he had a sack to stop the D-Line from being shut out.
Week in and week out, this has been the standout unit for the Ravens, and this game was no different. Terrell Suggs was held without a sack for the first time this season, as it was clear the Packers keyed their game plan on not allowing T-Sizzle to beat them.
Suggs still was all over the field with 10 tackles, and was held by left tackle David Bakhtiari to back the Packers’ drive up on a play that might as well have been a sack. With the extra attention on Suggs, Elvis Dumervil was able to get free for two sacks. Daryl Smith once again was a playmaker in the middle with the only blemish on his day a would-be game-changing interception that clanked right off his hands.
The ‘backers did contribute to Eddie Lacy’s big day, and lose the perfect “A” due to some missed tackles that led to his bigger runs.
The secondary did hold Aaron Rodgers to a relatively low completion percentage, but it hard to give them too much credit as two of Rodgers’ top playmakers, Randall Cobb and James Jones were out of the game by halftime.
Lardarius Webb was burned by Jordy Nelson late in the first half to set up pre-halftime points for the Packers, and safety James Ihedigbo was beaten on another big gainer late in the game to pretty much seal this one for the Packers.
In a game that took both offenses a long time to warm up, Sam Koch had a great day to keep the Ravens alive in this one. Koch had nine punts, including a key 61-yarder to reverse field position, and only had one of his punts on the day returned for any significant yardage.
Justin Tucker hit his only field goal try, and both Jacoby Jones and Tandon Doss had solid days in the return game. Jones did have an ill-advised return from deep inside the end zone, but when you’ve got a 108-yarder in the Super Bowl to your credit, you can get away with that from time to time.
Packers’ Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers won the head-to-head battle with Ravens’ Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell in this one. Both coaches were going to have to make significant adjustments, and Capers made the right ones. Capers unleashed A.J. Hawk in the Clay Matthews role, and he responded with three sacks to counter Caldwell’s move of starting new tackle Eugene Monroe and benching Bryant McKinnie.