Ravens vs. Patriots: Live Week 3 Report Card
The Ravens are looking to avenge last season's AFC championship loss, while the Patriots are looking to assert their dominance over the AFC after a shocking loss to Arizona in Week 2.
The loser of this game will be just 1-2, so both teams need this win to stay above .500.
We will be bringing you in-depth grades and analysis after every quarter, with grades for each key Raven at the end of the game. Make sure to check back often for the latest grades!
Joe Flacco, QB—B+
Flacco started horribly, doing pretty much nothing right in the first quarter.
He was a different man after that, though, as he completely controlled this offense. Flacco converted the third downs that escaped him last week, and he made some nice deep throws.
Flacco wasn't perfect, though. His accuracy was mediocre on some throws, especially on deep throws. He has a major tendency to under-throw the deep ball, so he'll need to work on that.
Ultimately, though, Flacco led this team to victory. He might not be the best, as he seems to think he is, but he can be very good.
Flacco made his worst throw since the first quarter, nearly throwing a pick to Devin McCourty. He responded nicely, though, lofting a pretty pass to Boldin.
On the second drive, Flacco looked superb, but was helped by some penalties. He's unfazed in the pocket, and he's being more patient than he was to start the game.
To end the game, Flacco made a big throw to Jacoby Jones, but he wasn't really sharp on the drive. He definitely gets points for leadership, though. He led this team today.
Flacco started the quarter off with a bang, looking in complete control. Having an effective running game has helped him immensely.
On the second drive, Flacco was killed by penalties, but his individual performance was solid.
Flacco's decision making was somewhat improved in this quarter, but he still started the quarter too conservatively and displaying inconsistent accuracy.
On the plus side, Flacco's touchdown to Torrey Smith was a picture perfect throw. Flacco's big pass to Jacoby Jones was also well placed and well timed. He seemed to get into a rhythm as the quarter went on, so hopefully that continues into the second half.
I can't give Flacco an A, because he wasn't perfect. He really improved though, and he gets bonus points for bouncing back so thoroughly.
Flacco's interception was a rookie mistake. He stared down his receiver and never really saw the coming safety. That kind of play is inexcusable from a veteran.
Other than the interception, Flacco constantly settled for check downs on third down, resulting in zero first downs in the first quarter.
Rice started out slowly. He struggled finding holes, and his vision left something to be desired.
He quickly got into a rhythm, though. Once he did, the Ravens offense really clicked. Rice churned out tough yards, made nice catches and made this offense dangerous tonight.
Pierce actually started the game as the better back, and he definitely deserves more carries.
Unfortunately, Pierce was the victim of a terrible play-call on fourth down. He was stuffed for a loss, but he never really had a chance.
Leach's blocking was picture perfect tonight. He dropped one pass, which hurt, but he was otherwise superb.
Torrey Smith was nearly perfect tonight. He was the only receiver that the Patriots feared, and they still couldn't completely stop him.
If Smith maintains this level of play, he will undoubtedly become a star. For now, he'll have to settle for being the MVP of the game.
One gripe—Smith cut off a route that he was open on, resulting in an incomplete pass. It was just a miscommunication, but it still hurt.
Otherwise, Smith made veteran plays. He demonstrated tremendous body control and hands.
Boldin had a solid game, despite not tearing up the stat sheet. Unfortunately, Boldin had trouble getting off the Patriots press coverage, despite not receiving as much attention as Torrey Smith.
Boldin will always struggle to get open at this point in his career, but he's a reliable option and a tough player. He did just fine tonight.
In three games this season, Jacoby Jones has reeled in more catches than Lee Evans and LaQuan Williams did combined last season.
Jones lends a deep threat that helps keep coverage off Torrey Smith, and he has stronger hands than expected.
No offensive pass interference this week, as Jones played a key role in the Ravens' win.
Last week, Joe Flacco struggled because he keyed too much on Dennis Pitta.
This week, Flacco found Pitta just the right amount of times, as Pitta was superb and much more efficient than last week.
Pitta has such strong hands, and he also has some moves after the catch. Best of all, Pitta was actually the best tight end in this contest.
Dickson made some tough grabs, but he's starting to be fazed out of this offense.
All in all, Oher did a solid job handling Chandler Jones, who's been stellar as a rookie. Oher gave up a sack, but the play was nullified thanks to a penalty.
In run-blocking, Oher was superb. All in all, a great performance from Oher.
Ramon Harewood was excellent tonight, and he's definitely taken hold of the starting job at left guard. He's athletic and strong, and he excelled in run blocking tonight.
Tonight, Matt Birk made up for his abysmal performance in the AFC Championship Game. The Pats got minimal pressure from the middle, and the Ravens excelled at running between the tackles.
Of all the offensive linemen, Yanda had the toughest night. Yanda was whistled for multiple penalties, as he struggled with Vince Wilfork.
This was probably Osemele's best game as a pro, as he was very solid. Flacco didn't get sacked once, and there was minimal pressure from Osemele's side.
Ngata was dominant in run-defense, and he was among the Ravens best pass-rushers tonight. He'll never be an elite pass-rusher, but he was very good in all phases of the game.
The Ravens occasionally gave up some yards up the middle, but all in all, Kemoeatu and Terrence Cody were solid in the middle.
Same as Kemoeatu, Cody wasn't perfect, but he was solid.
McPhee is supposed to be a solid pass-rusher, but he was pretty quiet tonight. He did get some pressures, but I expect more from him in his second year. His run defense was decent, though.
Lewis occasionally got pushed around, but he was still Ray Lewis. Not his best game, but the defense's problems were not because of Lewis.
Ellerbe was definitely the defensive MVP, making impact plays and defending the run well. The Patriots did complete some passes over the middle, but Ellerbe made up for it with his pass rush and some big hits.
He would have an A if not for a boneheaded penalty.
McClellan does an excellent job setting the edge, but he's not really a playmaker. He did his job tonight, but nothing more.
This was a bounce-back game of sorts for Paul Kruger, who played much better than he did in week one. Kruger was not victimized at all in this game, but he still struggles to get off blockers.
Upshaw was the best Ravens' outside linebacker tonight, as he set the edge well and was among the most effective pass-rushers for the Ravens.
This was one of the worst games I've seen Webb have in a long time, but he still played well.
Webb clearly does his best work in tight man coverage, but the rest of the Ravens' secondary can't handle that kind of responsibility. He struggled a bit in zone.
The Ravens used Webb on a lot of blitzes tonight, as well, and they rarely worked. He does his best work in coverage, and the Ravens should keep him there.
If there is a silver lining to Cary Williams' performance tonight, I have yet to see it. Williams was awful, getting completely dominated.
His lack of quickness and speed is killing the Ravens defense, and they need to find a way to make up for it.
Jimmy Smith was much better than Williams, but he still wasn't great. Smith gave up his share of receptions, but he made up for it with a huge hit in the second half.
Smith has the same stiff-hips as Williams, but he is more instinctive. At this point, Smith should be the starter.
Ed Reed was more or less solid in this game. The Patriots definitely weren't doing their damage deep, so Reed had that locked down.
He did get whistled for a boneheaded penalty on his part, so he needs to be more careful.
On the plus side, Reed was laying down some vicious hits tonight. Don't forget, this man can hit.
Pollard was pretty silent tonight, but he was also guilty of a dumb penalty. He needs to play smarter.
Wow, that kick was close. Tucker won the game, but he scared every Ravens fan on earth by just barely making the game winning field goal.
Tucker is still perfect on the season, so no complaints here. He's also got a boot on kickoffs.
Koch's punts were OK tonight, but not great. He had a little too much topspin on a punt that went into the endzone for a touchback.
Jones had a solid return to start the game, but was otherwise held in check. He scared everyone with a muffed punt, but he fell on it quickly.
Thompson has some shiftiness and speed, so he'll definitely break one soon. It's only a matter of time.
A little love for the longsnapper, who was his usual, solid self tonight.
Harbaugh kept his team focused and intense after a rough start, but they looked flat to start the game. He also needs to be careful with his conduct towards referees.
Naturally, Cam Cameron had some controversial playcalls. The fourth down run play was a poor call, and Cameron was predictable to start the game.
Once the running game got going, though, Cameron dialed up some interesting route combinations that helped Flacco catch on fire.
Cameron isn't perfect, but he coached one of his better games tonight.
Whether Pees or the players are to blame for the defense's early season ineptitude is hard to say, but Pees needs to figure out how to change it and fast.
The Ravens are only getting beat two ways: over the middle and in man-coverage against Cary Williams. Until Pees can patch up those holes, this defense will be poor.
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