Ravens vs. Steelers: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Baltimore

Shehan Peiris@@shehan_peiris_Correspondent IIIOctober 21, 2013

Ravens vs. Steelers: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Baltimore

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    Flacco did his best, but he still had to walk off the field with a loss.
    Flacco did his best, but he still had to walk off the field with a loss.Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images

    A loss is a loss, but the Baltimore Ravens have to be hurting more than usual after losing to their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and falling two games back of the AFC North lead. Despite the dreadful performance, there were actually a few very good individual showings.

    The offense sputtered, but Joe Flacco had a great game and almost led the Ravens to victory. Similarly, Ray Rice's numbers weren't eye-popping, but he finally looked like the Ray Rice of old, making quick cuts and displaying his burst.

    Haloti Ngata was frequently double-teamed, but that didn't prevent him from making an impact anyway. In addition, the offensive line played decently, with standout performances from Eugene Monroe and Marshal Yanda.

    Here is an evaluation of every Raven, complete with grades. Those grades were based on the statistical output and how well each player did his job on each play.

Quarterbacks

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    Flacco had to do his fair share of work with his legs, but he led the Ravens on an excellent drive that almost won the game.
    Flacco had to do his fair share of work with his legs, but he led the Ravens on an excellent drive that almost won the game.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Joe Flacco: A-

    Stats: 24-of-34 (71%) for 215 yards (6.3 YPA), 1 TD, Passer rating of 97.1; 2 rushes for 14 yards

    Flacco made a few mistakes, including a delay of game penalty right out of a timeout and underthrowing Jacoby Jones on what would have been a touchdown. Nonetheless, he played a great game and was very efficient. He did a phenomenal job with his footwork, moving around in the pocket and scrambling when the pressure came.

    Furthermore, he was in total control of the no-huddle offense, which coincided with when the Ravens had their greatest offensive success. He engineered a 16-play, 73-yard drive to tie the game in which he missed on only one throw.

    Flacco was patient, made good decisions and almost led his team to a victory in a game it had no business being in.

Running Backs

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    Rice looked more like himself against the Steelers.
    Rice looked more like himself against the Steelers.Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Ray Rice: B-

    Stats: 15 carries for  45 yards (3.0 YPC); 4 receptions for 27 yards

    While the numbers don't suggest it, Rice actually looked pretty good on the ground. He displayed the explosiveness and cutting ability that seemed to have left him for the past few weeks.

    Rice had a few sizable gains and hit the creases hard. He also showed his trademark ability to fight for extra yards and turn broken plays into positive yardage.

    He did struggle, however, in pass protection, which is unusual for him. He missed a cut block on LaMarr Woodley, which led to the only sack of the afternoon, and he got overpowered on a couple of other occasions in blitz pickup.

     

    Bernard Pierce: D

    Stats: 6 carries for 13 yards (2.2 YPC); 1 reception for 9 yards

    For whatever reason, the already bad run-blocking disintegrates whenever Pierce takes the field. In Week 7, he was partly at fault by making the wrong reads and choosing the wrong holes.

    He also joined Ray Rice in struggling in pass protection. He was beaten by Cortez Allen on a corner blitz, and Allen got his hands on Joe Flacco as he released the ball. Luckily, it was an incomplete pass, but it very easily could have been a turnover.

     

    Vonta Leach: B

    Stats: 3 carries for 10 yards (3.3 YPC); 1 reception for 3 yards

    Leach had a good outing considering the lack of running success. He landed some good blocks, did well in pass protection and even stepped in as the lead back with Pierce hurting and Rice getting a breather.

    He did come up short on a 3rd-and-1 attempt, but that was more to do with the lack of any offensive line push than Leach himself.

Wide Receivers

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    The Pittsburgh defense keyed in on Torrey Smith and kept him quiet for most of the afternoon.
    The Pittsburgh defense keyed in on Torrey Smith and kept him quiet for most of the afternoon.Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images

    Torrey Smith: B

    Stats: 3 receptions for 61 yards

    It was a very quiet afternoon from Torrey Smith, punctuated by an excellent over-the-shoulder grab on the sideline for 41 yards. The Steelers defense did a good job keeping him quiet, and his presence wasn't really felt beyond the one great catch.

     

    Jacoby Jones: B+

    Stats: 4 receptions for 32 yards

    Jones made a couple of nice plays, including a tremendous sideline grab while getting both feet down in time. He also found a soft spot in the coverage with Joe Flacco scrambling and picked up a first down.

    He made plays when he was called upon and would have had a long touchdown if not for an underthrow by Flacco.

     

    Marlon Brown: C+

    Stats: 4 receptions for 22 yards

    Brown made a number of good catches and has impressed with his hands so far this year. But he was called for a false start and also missed a block on Troy Polamalu for the failed 3rd-and-1 conversion.

     

    Tandon Doss: B-

    Stats: 2 receptions for 35 yards

    None of the receivers had a particularly large workload, but Doss made the most of his opportunities. He caught a quick slant over the middle and then held on to the ball despite getting rocked by Polamalu.

    It didn't compare to his excellent Week 6 performance, but Doss can be relied on to make plays for this offense.

Tight Ends

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    Dallas Clark caught the only Baltimore touchdown of the day.
    Dallas Clark caught the only Baltimore touchdown of the day.Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

    Dallas Clark: B

    Stats: 3 receptions for 9 yards, 1 TD

    Clark is building chemistry with Joe Flacco, and he was targeted four times on the day. Two of those targets were in the red zone, so hopefully he continues to be a threat near the end zone.

    He caught the only Ravens touchdown of the game but was not very good in run-blocking when that was his role.

     

    Ed Dickson: C

    Stats: 2 receptions for 17 yards

    Dickson caught two passes, but he was mostly used as a blocker. He was only OK in this capacity, missing a couple of blocks in the game.

     

Offensive Linemen

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    Yanda looked good for the first time in quite a while.
    Yanda looked good for the first time in quite a while.Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

    Eugene Monroe: A

    Stats: 0 penalties, 0 sacks

    Monroe was excellent and has been a welcome addition to the offensive line. He looks tremendous in pass protection and showed his athleticism as a run-blocker.

     

    Kelechi Osemele: B-

    Stats: 0 penalties, 0 sacks

    Osemele played a good game compared to his other performances from the season, but he still had some problems. In pass protection, he was moved off his spot repeatedly, and that pressure forced Flacco to move and get out of the pocket.

     

    Gino Gradkowski: C-

    Stats: 0 penalties, 0 sacks

    Gradkowski had a decent game against his hometown team. But while there weren't any glaring breakdowns, he is still having a difficult time with his blocks. He got beat a couple of times and gave up some pressure on Flacco.

     

    Marshal Yanda: A

    Stats: 0 penalties, 0 sacks

    Yanda didn't make any mistakes and looked like the Pro Bowl-caliber guard we're used to seeing. He was much more effective in the running game and landed very good second-level blocks on multiple occasions.

     

    Michael Oher: C-

    Stats: 1 holding penalty, 0 sacks

    Oher made an excellent play to start the game by batting down a potential interception. After that, things started to go downhill. He looked outmatched against LaMarr Woodley and was repeatedly beaten off the edge.

    He gave up a few QB hits and was called for a holding penalty.

Nose Tackles

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    Ngata didn't make much of a contribution in the stat sheet, but his presence was felt.
    Ngata didn't make much of a contribution in the stat sheet, but his presence was felt.Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

    Haloti Ngata: A-

    Stats: 4 tackles (2 solo), 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hit

    Ngata's stat line isn't awe-inspiring, but he played a great game. He was consistently double-teamed by the Pittsburgh line, but he still managed to get some good push and got half a sack on Ben Roethlisberger.

     

    Brandon Williams: B

    Stats: 1 solo tackle, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit

    Williams is playing very well since returning from injury, and he recorded the first sack of his professional career. He looks very strong out there and holds his own against blockers.

Defensive Ends

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    None of the defensive ends had a stellar game, but they all had solid performances.
    None of the defensive ends had a stellar game, but they all had solid performances.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Chris Canty: C

    Stats: 3 solo tackles

    Canty showed his athleticism by making some tackles in pursuit of Le'Veon Bell. But he couldn't take advantage of the double-teams that were thrown the way of Haloti Ngata.

     

    Arthur Jones: C-

    Stats: 2 solo tackles

    Jones didn't have a great game, and he wasn't his normal run-stuffing self.

     

    Marcus Spears: C

    Stats: 1 tackle

    Spears didn't record many tackles, but he was strong against the run and forced Bell to go other ways on a few occasions.

Inside Linebackers

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    Daryl Smith forced the only turnover of the game, but it didn't make a difference to the outcome.
    Daryl Smith forced the only turnover of the game, but it didn't make a difference to the outcome.Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Daryl Smith: A-

    Stats: 9 tackles (4 solo), 1 FF

    Smith continues to make excellent appearances for the Ravens. He is a steadying presence in the middle of the field, and he doesn't make many mistakes.

    He made a big play to force the fumble on Heath Miller, but the offense couldn't take advantage of it.

     

    Jameel McClain: B+

    Stats: 6 tackles (4 solo)

    McClain looked very good considering that it was his first game in 10 months. He didn't show any signs of rust, and did a good job against both the run and the pass.

     

    Arthur Brown: B-

    Stats: 2 tackles (1 solo)

    Brown played well in limited snaps, mostly being used in passing situations.

Outside Linebackers

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    Suggs didn't dominate as he should have given the battered nature of the Pittsburgh O-line.
    Suggs didn't dominate as he should have given the battered nature of the Pittsburgh O-line.Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Terrell Suggs: B+

    Stats: 7 tackles (6 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit

    Matched up against Kelvin Beachum, who was starting only his second game at left tackle, Suggs wasn't as dominant as perhaps he should have been. To be fair, he did see some double-teams to mitigate his effectiveness.

    Regardless, he still played the run very well and consistently set the edge. He did miss a sack on Roethlisberger which resulted in a 19-yard scramble, but then he came back and dragged him to the turf by his jersey.

     

    Elvis Dumervil: D-

    Stats: 3 tackles (1 solo), 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hit, 3 penalties (1 offside, 1 roughing the passer, 1 facemask)

    Dumervil started the game well but committed three very bad penalties (two of them were on the same play). The penalties were brutal and bailed out the Steelers offense.

     

    Courtney Upshaw: B-

    Stats: 2 solo tackles

    Upshaw was very solid, setting the edge and even generating some pressure off the outside.

Cornerbacks

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    Webb lunges to tackle Antonio Brown.
    Webb lunges to tackle Antonio Brown.Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Lardarius Webb: C

    Stats: 4 solo tackles, 1 illegal contact penalty

    Ben Roethlisberger seemed to target Webb, throwing at him a fair amount. Webb's coverage was fairly soft at times, and he allowed at least four receptions.

    He was also called for an illegal contact penalty, although that may actually have been a good play to prevent a possible touchdown.

     

    Jimmy Smith: B+

    Stats: 3 tackles (2 solo)

    On the contrary, Roethlisberger barely threw toward Jimmy Smith. He allowed Antonio Brown to catch a slant and bring the Steelers within Shaun Suisham's range, but Smith had a very quiet game—a good sign for a cornerback.

     

    Corey Graham: B-

    Stats: 4 solo tackles, 1 pass defended

    Graham's missed tackle on Brown near the end of the game was a crucial mistake that allowed Pittsburgh to get close to field-goal range. Other than that, he played good coverage and even broke up a third-down pass.

Safeties

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    Elam was good in coverage and against the run.
    Elam was good in coverage and against the run.Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

    James Ihedigbo: B-

    Stats: 3 solo tackles

    Ihedigbo has cooled off a little since his amazing start to the year, but he made a few good plays against the Steelers.

    For example, he sniffed out a screen play to Antonio Brown and stopped it for a minimal gain.

     

    Matt Elam: A-

    Stats: 3 solo tackles, 1 TFL

    Elam had his best game as a pro, showing great coverage skills and the ability to be an enforcer over the middle.

    He also recovered a fumble and defended the run very well. He took a page out of Troy Polamalu's book and was active around the line of scrimmage.

Specialists

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    Tucker made three field goals to keep the game within reach.
    Tucker made three field goals to keep the game within reach.Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

    Justin Tucker: A

    Stats: 3/3 FG (46, 38, 32); 1/1 XP

    Tucker nailed all of his field goals and split the uprights perfectly on all three. His only shortcoming was the failed onside kick, but I don't blame him too much for that.

     

    Sam Koch: A-

    Stats: 3 punts for 126 yards (42.0 avg), 1 touchback, 1 I20

    Koch wasn't very busy, but that was due more to the pace of the game and the limited possessions overall. He made some pretty good punts but didn't get the fortunate bounces.

     

    Jacoby Jones: A-

    Stats: 3 kick returns for 81 yards (27.0 avg)

    Jones was once again good as a kick returner and recorded a good average.

     

    Tandon Doss: A

    Stats: 1 punt return for 12 yards

    Doss has continued his stellar special teams play, and while he only had one chance against Pittsburgh, he made it a good return.