Ravens vs. Eagles: Live Week 2 Report Card for Baltimore

Shawn BrubakerContributor IISeptember 16, 2012

Ravens vs. Eagles: Live Week 2 Report Card for Baltimore

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    The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 24-23 in a big Week 2 showdown.

    The Ravens failed to avoid a historical trend of losing after emotional victories, while the Eagles showed that they are better than they performed last week against the Browns.

    Here are grades for every player to make an impact on the game.

Joe Flacco, QB

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    Final Game Grade—D

    Flacco is not an elite quarterback. Elite quarterbacks spread the ball around in the clutch situations, and elite quarterbacks make the requisite throws.

    Flacco didn't do that. He keyed in on Dennis Pitta or Ray Rice on almost every key conversion situation. When he didn't do that, he overthrew deep balls into double coverage.

    He wasn't helped by a poor offensive line and a poor showing from his receivers, but the blame for this loss is at least in part Flacco's.

     

    Q4—F

    Flacco continued to be inaccurate at first, but at least his decision making has improved.

    He then threw his best pass of the day on what should have been a touchdown to Jacoby Jones, but an offensive pass interference call nullified the touchdown.

    On the final drive, Flacco looked like a rookie. If Flacco wants to be considered an elite quarterback, he needs to execute on those drives.

    Q3—D

    Flacco threw his first interception of the season. He's forcing the ball to covered players to start the half, but he's still not throwing the ball deep down the field. The Eagles are starting to jump on those short routes, so the Ravens will not move the ball if they keep resorting to dump offs.

    Flacco then missed a deep throw badly on the second drive. All three throws on the second drive were off, though Torrey Smith was obviously held on a deep route.

    Flacco did complete a deep pass to Torrey Smith, but he'd have had a touchdown with a better and more timely throw.

    He's completely off rhythm, and the Ravens need to stop putting so much on his shoulders. Flacco can't handle it right now.

     

    Q2—B-

    Flacco is definitely on point with his throws today, spreading the ball around and making solid throws. His pass to Jacoby Jones for a touchdown was picture perfect and displayed great timing.

    My one complaint is Flacco's tendency to check down much too early. The line has been decent, but Flacco's checked down on a lot of his passes.

    Q1—B-

    Flacco coughed up the football on the second play from scrimmage. He needs to feel the pressure better. He improved immensely on the second drive, which culminated in a touchdown. His passes are still on point, he just needs to feel the pressure better.

Running Backs

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    Ray Rice—A-

    I can't find any fault with Ray Rice's play today. He made key conversions on a regular basis, and he ran the ball effectively.

    Unfortunately, Rice is hampered by predictable play calling and a defense that focused on him.

     

    Bernard Pierce—D

    Pierce only got a handful of carries, but he looked tentative and slow. He got stopped in the backfield on consecutive plays at one point.

     

    Vonta Leach—B

    Leach showed off his athleticism on a touchdown run and a nice run after the catch. Rice had trouble finding holes towards the end of the game, and Leach is at least partly responsible for that.

Wide Receivers

3 of 10

    Anquan Boldin—C

    Boldin didn't do enough in this game. He struggles to get open, and Flacco has stopped looking his way on key downs.

     

    Torrey Smith—B-

    Torrey Smith did some good things in this game, with his deep reception being the highlight. Like Boldin, though, Smith didn't do enough in this game. Smith struggled to get open throughout the day.

     

    Jacoby Jones—B+

    Jones is the best third receiver the Ravens have had in years. He did a lot of good things today, but he was flagged for a controversial pass interference call that nullified his touchdown reception.

    His grade remains high because the call was so controversial, but that interference penalty played a key role in the Ravens' loss.

     

    Tandon Doss—C

    Doss had his first career reception today, but he didn't do much else. He struggles to get open, but he did also draw a pass interference penalty.

Tight Ends

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    Dennis Pitta—A-

    No questions asked, Dennis Pitta is the breakout star of this offense. He has fantastic hands and runs solid routes.

    Joe Flacco needs to stop keying on him, though. As good as Pitta is, he's not a guy who can carry an offense.

    One negative play was a potential catch in the redzone that Pitta should have had. He didn't extend fully on the play, which cost the Ravens a probable touchdown.

     

    Ed Dickson—C

    Dickson didn't do much today, and he's clearly been surpassed in the pecking order by Pitta.

Offensive Line

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    Michael Oher—B

    Michael Oher struggled in pass protection early, but other than that he did all right. He had a tough task, but his run blocking was solid. He needs to keep his emotions in check, though, as he was often involved in post-play scuffles.

     

    Ramon Harewood—B-

    Harewood started well, but his run blocking deteriorated as the game went on. His pass blocking was solid though, as Flacco regularly had the ability to step up in the pocket.

     

    Matt Birk—B-

    Birk's performance was similar to Harewood's. He started well, but struggled late.

     

    Marshal Yanda—B+

    Yanda had the best block of the day, pushing Cullen Jenkins well into the end zone on Vonta Leach's touchdown. Yanda was solid all day.

     

    Kelechi Osemele—D+

    Osemele was beaten thoroughly by the Eagles' pass rushers. He simply wasn't ready to handle pass rusher of this caliber, and it resulted in pressure almost every down.

Defensive Line

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    Pernell McPhee—B

    McPhee was one of the only Ravens to get pressure on a regular basis. He's explosive, but he still needs to polish his game. He was fooled often by the veteran Michael Vick.

     

    Haloti Ngata—C-

    This was not one of Haloti Ngata's better games. He was handled pretty well by the Eagle's offensive line, but his run defense was mostly solid.

     

    Art Jones—C

    Jones was occasionally pushed around, but was usually in the right positioning. His lack of explosion really hurts in passing situations.

     

    Ma'ake Kemoeatu—B

    The Eagles rarely found running room up the middle, and Kemoeatu had a big role in that. He offers minimal pass rush, but he is an upgrade from Terrence Cody.

Linebackers

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    Courtney Upshaw—B+

    One of the few bright spots for the Ravens today has to be the play of Upshaw. He was effective rushing the passer and relentless in run defense. He's still young, but he looks to be a keeper.

     

    Albert McClellan—C+

    McClellan had an up and down game. He occasionally failed to set the edge, but he also made some big plays.

     

    Ray Lewis—C-

    I hate to say this, but Ray Lewis looks old. He can't cover well anymore, and he regularly over-pursued in this game. He's still a sure tackler, but the Eagles seemed to have him figured out.

     

    Jameel McClain—C

    McClain was mostly incognito in this game. He did get some nice pressure from time to time, but he failed to make a sizable impact. 

     

    Dannel Ellerbe—B-

    Ellerbe was actually the best inside linebacker for the Ravens today. He was the only linebacker with the athleticism to cover the Eagles' running backs. All of the linebackers struggled to cover the middle of the field in zone coverage, though.

Secondary

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    Cary Williams—F

    Williams was the goat of the game. Williams simply lacks the requisite quickness to keep up with good receivers. His hips are stiff, and Desean Jackson took advantage.

     

    Lardarius Webb—A

    On the flip-side, Webb is proving that he is among the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He can play the run as well as anyone, and he shut down whoever he covered. He is helped by the fact that teams would much rather throw at Williams, but Webb is a legit shutdown corner.

     

    Jimmy Smith—C-

    Smith struggled for most of the game, but he did do some good things. His hips are stiff, limiting his ability to stop short routes, but he is more athletic than Cary Williams at least.

     

    Ed Reed—B-

    At least the Eagles weren't able to pass deep. Ed Reed played a big role in that, as he covered his zone pretty effectively. He also came up with a big interception.

     

    Bernard Pollard—A+

    Bernard Pollard came out and played like a man possessed, getting an awesome interception and laying a huge hit. Unfortunately, he was injured early, and the Ravens defense consequently struggled.

     

    James Ihedigbo—C

    The difference between Ihedigbo and Pollard was clear, but Ihedigbo held his own for the most part. He gave up some plays, but he was did as well as the Ravens could have hoped.

Specialists

9 of 10

    Justin Tucker—A+

    Justin Tucker was the MVP of today's game. He was perfect and displayed incredible leg strength.

     

    Sam Koch—B

    Sam Koch did his job well, but he did kick a touchback, which lowers his grade a bit.

     

    Deonte Thompson—B+

    Thompson looks to be a solid kick returner. He was on the verge of breaking a big one at one point.

     

    Jacoby Jones—B

    Jones is a little slow to run after he catches the ball, but he has good vision and speed.

Coaching

10 of 10

    John Harbaugh—C-

    Harbaugh wasted a timeout on a silly challenge, but more importantly the Ravens just looked flat today. That's on Harbaugh, who needs to stop letting his team fall apart after big wins.

     

    Cam Cameron—D

    Cameron started the game great, but he quickly fell into his old tricks. Cameron always struggles to find the right mix of pass and run, and today was no different. When he realized that the passing game wasn't working, he abandoned it entirely for a while.

    This receiving corps is also too talented to always seem to be covered. I have to blame Cameron for calling predictable routes.

     

    Dean Pees—F

    No matter what Pees tried, the Ravens never had an answer for the Eagles offense. The pass rush was mostly non-existent, and they never succeeded in covering Desean Jackson or Brent Celek.

    That Pees couldn't figure out how to stop these two is distressing. Teams will key on attacking Cary Williams and the middle of the field, and Pees has yet to show he knows how to stop it.