Ravens vs. Browns: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for Baltimore
The game pitched the division-leading Ravens against a Browns team that is trying to avoid finishing in the AFC North's basement for the fourth time in five years. It's been a lopsided rivalry with the Ravens defeating the Browns a staggering 10 consecutive times.
We will be providing live game grades and updated analysis throughout the afternoon. Make sure to keep this live report card open and follow along as we evaluate the Ravens in this Week 9 matchup against the Browns.
Joe Flacco: B-
Flacco's game differed wildly from quarter to quarter. Still he came through when it mattered so his overall completion of 63 percent doesn't look as bad when considering two quarters where he seemed unable to complete a pass longer than 10 yards.
That being said, the second and third quarters were pretty inexcusable. Flacco did not turn the ball over but he still needs to improve his accuracy and his consistency. It's sad to think that finishing 15-of-24 with 153 yards and a touchdown ranks as one of Flacco's best road games this season.
Ray Rice: B+
Rice was great early on, specifically on the first drive. After that eight-yard touchdown, Rice cooled considerably though as he did very little in either the running game or passing game. Thankfully Rice was hot in the fourth quarter and his totals of 25 attempts for 98 yards doesn't look all that bad in retrospect.
Bernard Pierce: B
Got to love seeing Pierce get his first rushing touchdown of his NFL career. The highlight of his day was clearly the 12-yard touchdown run to end the first quarter. Besides that he really didn't do much though with only 13 yards on his other six attempts.
Vonta Leach: B
Leach had some good blocks today, particularly during the rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. He also got eight rushing yards of his own late in the fourth quarter.
Anquan Boldin: B+
Not quite the Browns killer he usually is, Boldin nevertheless had a good game. He led the team in both receptions and yards, finishing with five catches for 57 yards. His 21-yard catch was arguably the best offensive play of the day.
Torrey Smith: A-
His grade is boosted by his touchdown in the fourth quarter. Besides for the touchdown, Smith had a solid if unspectacular day. His 46 receiving yards today was his best output in over a month.
Jacoby Jones: D-
No receptions for Jones today. He missed on his only target and wasn't even on the field all that much.
Dennis Pitta: C+
Pitta continues to be little more than an afterthought in the passing game. He caught two passes for 33 yards, most of which were gotten on a 27-yard pass in the second quarter.
Ed Dickson: D
Also two catches for Dickson. He only had eight yards though and was used mostly for blocking purposes, where he had a solid game.
Michael Oher: D
Unfortunately this was one of those games where Oher got attention for the wrong reasons. He had an offensive holding penalty that helped to kill a third quarter drive. He also got beat on the Browns only sack of the day.
Jah Reid: C
Reid was ok coming in on relief for Williams at left guard. However he still got beat occasionally and didn't show anything that made him look like an NFL starter.
Bobbie Williams: B
Williams has helped to clarify some of the question marks that the Ravens have at left guard. He opened up holes for Ray Rice and did a good job protecting Joe Flacco.
Matt Birk: C+
Birk was solid today, making few mistakes. He was definitely a part of this week's improved pass protection.
Marshal Yanda: C-
Yanda almost lost his cool and got into it with some Browns defensive linemen. He also got beat on some plays.
Kelechi Osemele: C-
Not a good game for Osemele. He got beat several times and looked sloppy throughout the game.
Arthur Jones: C
Jones got the starting defensive end position to himself with the injury to Pernell McPhee. He didn't do much with it though only getting one tackle and failing to generate pressure on the quarterback.
DeAngelo Tyson: D
We finally got to see a bit of an extended look at Tyson today. He did little to impress though with zero tackles and no quarterback hurries today.
Terrence Cody: C-
Cody only had one tackle in the whole game. Cody continues to disappoint at nose tackle as he lets players push him around, despite being one of the biggest guys in the game.
Haloti Ngata: D+
Clearly playing hurt today, Ngata did not show up on the stat sheet. He did help to pressure the quarterback though on Cary Williams' interception.
Dannell Ellerbe: B+
Ellerbe was one of the best defensive players today. Although he only got four tackles, he was frequently hustling towards the play. He also got the defense's only sack of the day.
Jameel McClain: C
McClain only had two tackles and he looked lost throughout the game. Ellerbe continues to outplay McClain and prove that he is the better inside linebacker.
Paul Kruger: C-
Kruger did not have very much impact on the game as he continues to cement himself as a backup. His one tackle was the only place he showed up on the stat sheet.
Albert McClellan: D-
No stat sheet appearances for McClellan today. He was an invisible presence on the field as the backup behind Suggs.
Terrell Suggs: B-
It's strange but Suggs really looked healthier two weeks earlier against Houston. He had two tackles today and did not create pressure on Brandon Weeden.
Courtney Upshaw: B
Upshaw continues to show improvement, hopefully someday that will show more on the stat sheet. He had only two tackles today.
Cary Williams: A
Although he's one of the most maligned players on the Ravens roster, Williams is actually showing some progress this season. Namely with interceptions as he got his fourth of the season today, returning it for 26 yards. Williams also led the team with six tackles.
Jimmy Smith: C
Smith did a good job getting the tackle even during the times he was beat and he ended the day with four tackles.
Corey Graham: B-
Graham was a pleasant surprise today. He got four tackles after mostly playing in nickel packages.
Bernard Pollard: C-
Pollard still seems to draw penalties with his overly aggressive playing style. He had one tackle and missed a lot of his attempts today.
Ed Reed: B
Reed missed a ball thrown right to him in the second quarter. He didn't make that mistake though later on when he ended the Browns faint comeback hopes with a one-yard interception. He also finished with four tackles.
Justin Tucker: A
Tucker was perfect again as he drilled his only field goal attempt from 43 yards out. He also knocked in three extra points.
Sam Koch: B+
He got way too much reps today but Koch generally looked good with them. His longest punt was 54 yards while four other ones went for over 40 yards and the shortest punt still landed within the Browns 20 yard line.
Jacoby Jones: C
Jones pretty much just got back to the 20 yard line on his returns. His long was 23 yards so nothing special there. Punt return was even less impressive with Jones having only a long of seven return yards from punts.
John Harbaugh: C
Make no mistake that this was an ugly win. Harbaugh made sure that his team was fired up to play however that fire essentially left after the first quarter. Once the fourth quarter came, the Ravens displayed a clutch ability to close out and that should be partially credited to Harbaugh's leadership.
Cam Cameron: C-
A whole quarter without a first down is almost unheard of in today's NFL. Even with the win today, there can be no disguising the offense's mediocrity on the road. Still he picked things up with a good fourth quarter, otherwise his grade would be even worse.
Dean Pees: C+
The defense did get two takeaways today so Pees deserves credit for that. The lack of a pass rush is concerning though and the defense's inability to get the Browns offense off the field could come back to haunt the team if it's not fixed.