Raiders vs. Ravens: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for Baltimore
Final Score: Baltimore 55 Oakland 20
The win moves the Ravens record to 7-2 and sets up a huge matchup next Saturday night in Pittsburgh against the rival Steelers. The Raiders, meanwhile, fall to 3-6 and have given up 97 points in the last two weeks.
Read on for some final game analysis of the quarterback, offense, defense, special teams and coaching after Baltimore's big Week 10 win.
Starting Quarterback: Joe Flacco
Overall Grade: A
Joe Flacco did what everyone expected him to do in a home game: play efficient, relatively error-free football.
OK, so maybe he played a little better than that. Flacco executed the offensive game plan perfectly with precision passing and solid decision making.
His deep passes, for the most part, were on target and the Ravens moved the chains through the air on 15 of 22 first downs. Baltimore also charted over 75 percent of its offense through the air, as Oakland came out determined not to get embarrassed by another rushing attack.
Flacco’s only mistake can share ownership with Jacoby Jones, who had the pass go through his hands, deflecting into the air and picked off by Michael Huff. It wasn’t a great pass, but was a small blemish on an overall terrific day for the Ravens QB.
With a real test next week in Pittsburgh, Flacco needed a confidence builder like today.
Overall it was a poor day for the Ravens' rushing attack as they mustered only 78 yards on 28 carries. The three rushing touchdowns were all from within 10 yards and included a seven-yard scamper from punter Sam Koch. He will not be included in the breakdown.
Ray Rice: B-
You had to figure that the Raiders' defense wouldn’t want to get embarrassed the way they did against Tampa. Rice was effective as a safety valve for Flacco and on designed dumps, and helped move the ball all day for the Baltimore offense.
Bernard Pierce: B-
The longest Ravens rush for the day came courtesy of Bernard Pierce for 12 yards. Pierce ran well in relief of Rice and had a few strong runs on the day.
Vonta Leach: C
It's not really fair to grade Leach on his running or receiving. He only touched the ball three times for a net total of three yards.
I had mentioned in my preview that Flacco needed to get back to using the tight ends as effectively as he had done earlier in the season. The Ravens did just that, utilizing their two excellent receiving ends in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
Dennis Pitta: A
Pitta led the way for all Ravens receivers with his five catches and 67 yards. Five targets, five catches and one touchdown equals a great day for Dennis Pitta.
Ed Dickson: B
The Ravens other receiving tight end Ed Dickson had only two targets but made the most of them with two catches and 59 yards. His 40-yard reception helped stretch the middle of the field and opened up some routes for the receivers in the second half.
With Flacco hitting the tight ends early and the Ravens' game plan designed to establish the run, Baltimore’s wideouts were opportunistic. Two early touchdown strikes in the second half helped put the game out of reach.
Anquan Boldin: B
Boldin was Flacco’s favorite target with seven passes thrown his way. He was able to haul in four catches for 36 yards, but not much was asked of him after the second quarter. His most notable second-half moment was pointing to the scoreboard after Joselio Hanson was talking smack after an incompletion.
Torrey Smith: A-
Smith was completely absent in the first half and only received six targets all day. He made the most of his two receptions for 67 yards, though, catching both in the end zone.
Jacoby Jones: B-
Jacoby Jones made some amends for the interception play by catching a 47-yard strike from Flacco in the second quarter. His impact on the game was felt more on the special teams, however.
Tandon Doss: B-
Three targets and one very nice 26-yard catch for the second-year wideout from Indiana.
It’s always nice when you don’t give up a sack and your quarterback has time to dissect an opponent's secondary. What’s not so nice is when you can’t get your rushing attack going with one of the elite backs in the league running behind you. Overall, it was a good day for the Ravens but there were some opportunities left on the table.
Michael Oher: A-
He helped keep Flacco’s backside clear.
Jah Reid: C+
Reid had a nice game, but he took a penalty for illegal hands to the face that cost 10 yards. The Ravens are still waiting for this big body to become a force.
Bobbie Williams: B-
Williams played an overall solid game at left guard.
Matt Birk: B+
The veteran leader played well. He helped organize blocking schemes and is the brains of the O-line.
Marshal Yanda: B-
Yanda played well in pass protection but was unable to help get the running game going.
Kelechi Osemele: C+
He had a holding penalty on a 13-yard gain from Bernard Pierce. Other than that, it was a solid effort from the big rookie.
With no rushing game in sight, everyone knew that the Raiders would be chucking the ball all over the field. The Ravens were only able to sack Carson Palmer three times, probably more of a testament to the Ravens' weak pass rush than the Raiders' offensive line. Haloti Ngata was listed as questionable and dressed for the game but never got on the field, as coach Harbaugh chose to let his star defensive tackle rest another week.
Arthur Jones: C
Two tackles. Ho hum performance.
DeAngelo Tyson: C+
Tyson recorded zero tackles, but he had two passes deflected and a hit on Palmer. Hey, at least Palmer knew he was in the game.
Terrence Cody: B-
When the Raiders tried early to pretend that they were going to run the ball, Cody stepped up with a nice stop. He had three total tackles for the day.
Bryan Hall: C-
It was an unspectacular day for Hall, who had two tackles.
Obviously the Ravens miss a certain middle linebacker, but they played pretty well against a pass-only offense. Statistically, the tackling numbers are weighted more to the secondary but there were still some solid efforts form the linebacking corps.
Dannell Ellerbe: B
He finished with 11 tackles, six solo, making it a good effort.
Jameel McClain: B
His ten tackles (seven solo) made it a nice game for McClain.
Paul Kruger: A
Kruger was credited with two sacks with a tip and an interception. He had an excellent overall performance.
Albert McClellan: B-
The box score shows four tackles, one for a loss and a fumble recovery for McClellan.
Terrell Suggs: B+
Suggs had two tipped passes, and fans can't wait to see a healthy T-Sizzle get to the quarterback.
Courtney Upshaw: B
It was a decent day for Upshaw, who had four tackles and a pass deflected.
From a statistical standpoint, the Ravens secondary got torched, but if you take away the big 55-yard pitch and catch (with missed tackle), the numbers aren't so gaudy or embarrassing. The Ravens were hurt by the absence of Jimmy Smith, who aggravated a groin injury in warm-ups.
Cary Williams: C+
Williams had a slightly above-average game with four tackles and two passes defensed.
Chykie Brown: C
His name alone deserves an A, but Brown played pretty well in the absence of starter Jimmy Smith.
Corey Graham: C
This grade would have been higher if Graham had made more tackles. Graham, Brown and Williams made life difficult for the Baltimore safeties with some missed tackles.
The safeties had their work cut out for them in a pass-happy game from the start. For the most part they answered the bell against the speedy outside Raiders receivers.
Bernard Pollard: A
Pollard led the team in tackles, had a sack and was all over the place, mainly because the Raiders only ran the ball half as much as they threw it.
Ed Reed: C
Ed Reed is an amazing player when he is healthy. Right now he seems like he is at about 42.27 percent, and that shows. The Ravens need a healthy Reed, but who is going to tell him to get off the field?
Special teams were huge today, helping Baltimore turn a big margin of victory into a laughable one. Every aspect of special teams were on point as they accounted for the last two touchdowns and sealed the win.
Justin Tucker: A
Tucker knocked down two field goals and was perfect on extra points.
Sam Koch: A++
Koch wasn't needed until the third quarter. He hit four punts for a 52.8 average and ran a touchdown in on a fake field goal.
Jacoby Jones: A+
After a couple of mediocre returns, Jones broke loose on a 104-yard jaunt to ice the game completely.
Overall Grade: A
The Ravens capitalized on some big plays and some bad defense, which is a combination that can make any coaching staff look good. The fake field goal was a semi-gutsy call considering the score at the time and field position. Overall, the offensive scheme worked pretty well. It would have been nice to see Ray Rice get more touches; he had 17 overall (catches and rushes) for only 68 yards, but wasn’t needed against a lesser opponent.
With a comfortable lead, the Ravens went for the kill by coming out firing to start the second half. Flacco hit Torrey Smith, absent in the first half, with a couple of quick strikes. Harbaugh then caught the Raiders with their collective pants down with a terrific fake field goal for another touchdown.
It's an unpopular concept in Baltimore, but props to Cam Cameron for calling a balanced and well-timed game in the first half. Mixing up the pass and runs kept the Raiders defense off balance, and eventually broke down what started as a spirited effort from the maligned Oakland run defense. Obviously the Ravens wanted to exploit the advantage they had with Ray Rice and a soft Raiders run defense. Oakland played like a team that has something to prove and limited Rice all day.
The defensive side of the ball will need to be better moving forward. A pedestrian line like the Raiders shouldn't have been able to keep a decent pass rush at bay. A team like Pittsburgh will not only pick apart anyone with the kind of time Carson Palmer had, but it also has the rushing attack to pound the ball in the end zone.