Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys: Final Grades and Analysis for the Ravens
The Ravens played sloppy today, but they made fewer mistakes than the Cowboys, resulting in a big win for the Ravens. The Ravens have plenty of room for improvement.
Here are final grades and analysis for the Ravens.
Joe Flacco, QB—A
Joe Flacco has been sharp when given time, and even occasionally when under pressure. He led the offense effectively.
Joe Flacco never had a chance with the poor blocking he was given.
Joe Flacco is responding well to pressure. He hit Ed Dickson on the hands despite intense pressure near the goalline, but Dickson dropped the ball. He then missed Ray Rice for what would’ve been a sure touchdown.
The most positive development of the Ravens passing attack this season is that Flacco has developed real chemistry with his wide receivers. He is completely locked in with Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, and it showed on the Ravens final drive of the half.
Flacco was very sharp in the second quarter. Few complaints here.
Flacco started the game with some sharp short passes. He was getting rid of the ball quickly, and he made some incredibly accurate throws.
On his second drive, Flacco faltered under pressure. With a fierce pass rush, Flacco had no time to make his reads, and the Ravens’ offense stalled as a result.
As a runner, Ray Rice didn’t do very well today. He had little room to work with, but he didn’t do anything to make his own room either.
In the passing game, though, Rice was stellar. He made a huge play in the second quarter with some good moves, and he excelled at getting open all game.
Pierce deserves more carries. He is a slashing runner who finds a crease and bursts through it. He showed that off again today, despite subpar blocking.
The Ravens blocking woes were not at all caused by Leach, who did his job admirably. Leach also caught a pass and picked up some tough yards in the redzone.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Boldin did drop a pass today, but he was dynamic otherwise. When the Ravens need a spark, they look to Boldin, and he delivered today.
The Cowboys were preoccupied with stopping Torrey Smith, so he didn’t get many opportunities. His touchdown grab was remarkable, though. The Ravens should try to get him the ball more.
Jacoby Jones started the game hot, but he didn’t do much after the first quarter. He continues to display strong hands, though.
Dennis Pitta continues to be one of Flacco’s most reliable targets. He was a solid early down target, displaying strong hands.
The Ravens seemed to want to include Dickson in the gameplan early, but he dropped a sure touchdown pass. His blocking wasn’t bad, however.
Oher was mostly very impressive today. He handled Demarcus Ware very well, and his run blocking was mostly good. He had a few mistakes, but he was the Ravens best lineman today.
Williams gave up a sack and didn’t run block exceptionally well, but he held his own.
Birk did a great job today in pass blocking, but he didn’t get much push in the run game. He led the line very well, though.
Yanda was probably the Ravens most effective run-blocker today, but he made a few mistakes that cost the Ravens, including a key penalty.
Osemele was definitely the Ravens’ worst lineman today, as he constantly gave up pressure and didn’t get much push in the running game. He didn’t make any crucial mistakes, but he was beaten more often than not.
Kemoeatu was pushed around on nearly every play. There is nothing more to say about his performance.
McPhee was pushed around as well, but he did manage to get off a few blocks. His tackling was an issue as well.
Haloti Ngata got pushed around today, and his injured knee was not to blame. Ngata was getting physically dominated even before the injury. He did rack up a sack, and he showed a lot of heart in playing through pain.
Kruger may have been the most effective of the Ravens’ linebackers today. He was holding his own and generally succeeded in setting the edge, but he struggled to get off blocks.
Ray Lewis struggled badly today, as most of his tackles came well down field. He can still play when he’s not engulfed with blockers, but the Cowboys succeeded in getting to the second level and completely neutralizing Lewis.
Ellerbe struggled badly today in both coverage and run defense. He mostly came on the field on passing downs, but he was unable to cover Jason Witten.
Jameel McClain failed to get off blocks today, and he missed multiple tackles.
McClellan was blocked well for most of the day, but he didn’t get pushed around too badly. His coverage was abysmal, however.
Upshaw held his own for most of the game, but he didn’t make any impact plays and failed to set the edge on occasion.
Webb was as good as ever when he was in the game, but he might be out for the season. He will be missed.
The good: Williams picked off a pass and was around the ball for most of the day. The bad: Williams still lacks ball skills and gave up several key completions, including the final touchdown to Dez Bryant.
Jimmy Smith showed off a lot of talent today, but he also made several dumb mistakes. Smith was guilty of multiple penalties, but he also made several big plays.
Brown was whistled for a legitimate pass interference penalty, but his coverage wasn’t bad. He needs to work on his form, but there is talent here.
Reed didn’t allow any deep passes, but his tackling was abysmal.
Pollard helped ensure that the Cowboys didn’t break off that many huge runs, but he didn’t make many impact plays either. His coverage was also subpar.
Tucker was perfect today on kickoffs and field goals.
Koch was nearly perfect today, but he had one short punt.
Jones ripped off a touchdown on a kickoff return, but he was otherwise unspectacular. The touchdown was crucial, however.
The Ravens came out flat, and they played undisciplined all day. That starts with Harbaugh.
The Ravens did pretty much nothing right on defense today. They had no answers for anything the Cowboys tried, and they crumpled under pressure. Pees has done nothing to improve this defense so far.
Cameron had one terrible play-call today, running a stretch play on a third and short. Otherwise, the Ravens’ offense ran smoothly.
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