Ravens vs. Dolphins: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Baltimore
The Baltimore Ravens held on to beat the Miami Dolphins in what was their best offensive performance of the year. The offensive line still had its issues, but the running game finally gained over 100 yards and receivers made plays when they were called upon.
On defense, Terrell Suggs turned in an outstanding performance, Lardarius Webb looks closer to his shutdown self and rookies Arthur Brown and Brandon Williams both played well with a higher snap count on their return from injury.
Here are report card grades for every Raven who played meaningful snaps. The grades are based on statistical output, whether a player made his teammates better and how well he fared in the matchup against his opponent.
Joe Flacco: B
Stats: 19-of-32 for 269 yards (8.4 YPA), 0 TDs, 1 INT, Passer rating of 73.6, 1 rush for 14 yards
The numbers aren't great, but they don't do a good job of showing the true value of Flacco's game. He was under pressure for the entire game, and the pick-six that he threw wasn't his fault at all. Bryant McKinnie got beaten by Dion Jordan, who tipped the ball as it was released.
Flacco did a great job of standing tall in the pocket and delivering throws while getting hit. He also made some tough throws and bounced back well after the pick-six to lead the Ravens down the field for the game-winning field goal.
Ray Rice: B+
Stats: 27 carries for 74 yards (2.7 YPC), 2 TDs, 6 receptions for 28 yards
Rice's average is pretty ugly, but he was very good when the running lanes were open. He fought for extra yards and made a couple of defenders miss in the open field. He also scored two touchdowns. It was a good game from the diminutive back.
Bernard Pierce: B-
Stats: 11 carries for 46 yards (4.2 YPC)
Pierce didn't get a big workload, but he broke off a few long runs when the blocks were there, including a 28-yarder that is the longest Baltimore run of the year.
Vonta Leach: B+
Stats: 0 carries, 0 receptions
Leach didn't record any stats, but he made great blocks with consistency to spring his running backs for positive yardage.
Torrey Smith: A
Stats: 6 receptions for 121 yards
Smith has only scored one touchdown, but he hasn't recorded less than four receptions or 85 yards in any game this year. With the Ravens short-handed at receiver, he was once again a star of the offense, making a variety of catches and picking up yards after the catch.
Tandon Doss: B+
Stats: 3 receptions for 58 yards
Doss made only three catches, but they were all difficult plays. In the first half, he dove to catch a pass for a first down to keep the chains moving.
In the second half, he quickly readjusted on a poorly thrown ball by Joe Flacco (who got hit as he threw), located the ball and made an excellent over-the-shoulder catch with his fingertips. Doss stepped up in a big way and made some key plays.
Deonte Thompson: C
Stats: 2 receptions for 11 yards
Thompson held on to the catchable passes thrown his way, including one where he got leveled as he caught it. His biggest contributions came in the return game.
Dallas Clark: D
Stats: 0 receptions
Clark wasn't targeted, so the grade may be harsh. But against a Dolphins defense that has struggled to contain opposing tight ends, it's surprising that Ed Dickson was the playmaker of the unit.
Ed Dickson: B
Stats: 2 receptions for 51 yards
At this point, any catch is a good catch for Dickson, but he made some tough grabs on crossing routes and fought for extra yards. It was only two receptions, but hopefully this is a sign that he's on the way up.
Billy Bajema: C
Stats: 0 receptions
Bajema was used exclusively as a blocker, and he saw a fair number of snaps. He made good blocks like he normally does, but he wasn't valuable enough to get anything more than a C.
Bryant McKinnie: F
Stats: 6 QB pressures, 1 QB hit
We don't know what the Ravens' plan for Eugene Monroe was, but he probably would have started had he been ready. Instead, McKinnie got the chance to defend his job. He failed miserably.
He repeatedly gave up pressure, and the pressure that let Dion Jordan tip Flacco's pass and resulted in a pick-six might have been the final nail in the coffin for McKinnie's tenure as starting left tackle.
A.Q. Shipley: B
Stats: 1 personal foul
Shipley was inserted after Kelechi Osemele left the game with back spasms. Shipley fared very well at left guard and didn't allow a QB pressure.
Gino Gradkowski: B-
Stats: 3 QB pressures
Gradkowski allowed some pressure to get to Flacco, and he struggled with the bigger interior linemen who were able to use their power to move him off the line of scrimmage. He was pretty good in run-blocking, though, and consistently got to the second level after chipping his men.
Marshal Yanda: C
Stats: 2 QB pressures, 1 sack allowed
Yanda didn't have a great game by his own lofty standards. He made some good plays in run-blocking, but he allowed two pressures and a sack on Joe Flacco. His impact as a leader of the line is very important, but he didn't put his best foot forward against Miami.
Michael Oher: B-
Stats: 2 QB pressures
Oher had a decent game. He missed a block in the run game, which led to the play getting blown up in the backfield for a loss. He also let some pressure get to Flacco off the edge, but it was nothing egregious.
***Note: These stats aren't official but are from my analysis while breaking down the film***
Haloti Ngata: C-
Stats: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Ngata didn't do much while he was in the game, and his name was barely mentioned. He had the chance to provide some pressure from the middle of the line, but he only got close on one occasion.
Brandon Williams: B
Stats: 1 solo tackle, 1 TFL
Williams played a fair amount with Terrence Cody still out, and he made the most of his snaps. He showed his strength using a bull rush and got some good pressure on Tannehill. He also demonstrated his athleticism and speed by quickly diagnosing a screen and breaking the play up for a loss.
Arthur Jones: C-
Stats: 1 solo tackle
Neither Jones nor Canty made many plays in this one. There was a lot of rotation in the defensive front, most probably due to the heat and humidity of the afternoon.
Chris Canty: C-
Stats: 1 solo tackle
Canty got pressure and almost got a sack, but he didn't, and the result of the play was Tannehill's miracle heave on fourth down.
Daryl Smith: B+
Stats: 6 solo tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD
Smith wasn't as dominant as he had been in games past, but he made a number of great tackles in open space, including a quick play to break up a screen pass.
Josh Bynes: C+
Stats: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 PD
Bynes made some good tackles early on to stuff the run, but he was eventually supplanted by Arthur Brown when the Dolphins abandoned their running game.
Arthur Brown: C+
Stats: 1 solo tackle
Brown returned from his pectoral injury and got a fair number of snaps. He made a number of good plays in coverage and looks like he could be a valuable contributor on passing downs.
Terrell Suggs: A+
Stats: 5 solo tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 QB hits
Three sacks is a dominant performance, and the timing of those sacks can't be understated. All three came in the fourth quarter, and they were all crucial at that point of the game.
Elvis Dumervil: B+
Stats: 2 solo tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PD, 1 QB hit
Dumervil was quiet for the most part, but his grade receives a big bump because he stepped up in crunch time and made arguably the biggest play of the game.
After Tannehill's fourth-down heave brought the Dolphins right on the cusp of field-goal range, Dumervil broke through and got a crucial sack. It kept the clock running and pushed the Dolphins out of Caleb Sturgis' range.
Courtney Upshaw: C+
Stats: 2 solo tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
Upshaw is usually excellent against the run, but there weren't many opportunities to do that against Miami. He was still effective and got a sack.
Pernell McPhee: C+
Stats: 1 solo tackle, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
McPhee joined the sack party with the rest of his position group, but he didn't make much noise outside of that.
Lardarius Webb: A-
Stats: 4 solo tackles, 2 PD
It wasn't a true shutdown performance, and he played soft coverage on Wallace to prevent getting beaten over the top. That soft coverage was part of the game plan, and he made a number of great plays to break up passes.
He broke up a potential touchdown, played the deep ball well and demonstrated excellent closing speed to break on the ball and force incompletions.
Webb is starting to hit his stride.
Jimmy Smith: C+
Stats: 1 solo tackle, 1 defensive holding penalty
This wasn't a great performance by Smith, although he did lock down Brian Hartline for most of the game. He was called for defensive holding—which may have been a good thing since he prevented a TD—and he also got beat on the touchdown pass where he was turned the wrong way.
Corey Graham: C+
Stats: 4 solo tackles, 1 PD
Graham made a number of good tackles and played the deep ball well.
James Ihedigbo: B
Stats: 3 solo tackles, 1 PD
Ihedigbo started off the game with a bang by making a phenomenal play and almost picking off Ryan Tannehill. He played great coverage, except for one play when he matched up with Charles Clay and got beaten deep.
Matt Elam: C
Stats: 2 solo tackles
Elam played pretty well, but he let Wallace get behind him for a long gain. Other than that, he didn't make many glaring mistakes.
Justin Tucker: A+
Stats: 4/4 FG (25, 42, 44, 50), 2/2 XP
Tucker was on his game, making four field goals, including the game-winner. He also crushed the ball on the kickoffs and only gave Marcus Thigpen two kickoff return opportunities.
Sam Koch: D
Stats: 5 punts for 171 yards (34.2 avg), 2 I20
This was not a good performance by Koch. The usually reliable punter mishit two punts that went for 25 and 26 yards, respectively. It didn't cost the Ravens in the end, but it was a field-position battle to start, and Koch was clearly outdone by his counterpart, Brandon Fields.
Tandon Doss: A-
Stats: 4 punt returns for 50 yards (12.5 avg)
Doss has been excellent in this role and seemed to always find a crease to run and pick up some extra yards. He is sure-handed and hasn't made a mistake yet.
Deonte Thompson: B+
Stats: 4 kick returns for 128 yards (32.0 avg)
Thompson might not keep the return job with Jacoby Jones back in action, but it is certainly through no fault of his own. He got outside Miami's kickoff coverage on multiple occasions and showed off his speed to put the Ravens in good field position.