Ravens vs. Browns: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Baltimore
You may have thought the Baltimore Ravens would use their bye week to address their most glaring issues. You thought wrong. They lost a critical divisional game to the Cleveland Browns and showed the same flaws they've exhibited all year.
The offense started slowly and didn't gain enough momentum until it was too late. On the contrary, Jason Campbell dissected Baltimore's secondary and made Davone Bess and Greg Little look like stars.
Special teams miscues meant the Browns won the battle of field position quite handily, and penalties were an issue throughout the game.
But the biggest weakness for the Ravens, as it has been all year, was the performance of the offensive line. Joe Flacco was running for his life on many plays, and Ray Rice was ineffective once again. Poor O-line play suffocated the offense, and Baltimore left the comeback too late.
What follows is an assessment of every player's performance, complete with grades that are based on their statistical output and fulfillment of their assigned duties.
The standout performers were Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith. On the other hand, Lardarius Webb, the offensive line and the running backs didn't pass their tests, and their grades reflect that.
Joe Flacco: C+
Stats: 24-of-41 for 250 yards (6.1 YPA), 2 TDs, 1 INT, Passer rating of 82.4; 3 rushes for 25 yards
Flacco started the game poorly, missing on some easy throws and costing the offense some much-needed completions. He was off the mark for much of the first half and missed on 10 of his first 15 pass attempts.
After this, however, he got into a rhythm and made a number of big plays.
Furthermore, the poor play of the offensive line meant that Flacco was flushed out of the pocket and had to make a number of plays with his feet.
He did this extremely well and extended a number of plays by getting out of the pocket. He also finished as the leading Baltimore rusher of the game, which is unfortunately a bigger indicator of the failures of the rushing attack than spectacular scrambling by Flacco.
In an unusual development, even his deep ball was way off today. He underthrew Jacoby Jones (on what was a terrible decision to throw the ball anyway) and got picked off. Then, he underthrew another deep pass, this time to Torrey Smith, and missed out on a long touchdown.
Flacco got his act together in the second half, and he's given some leeway due to the poor play of the O-line. Nevertheless, he missed some throws all on his own.
Ray Rice: D
Stats: 11 carries for 17 yards (1.5 YPC), 3 receptions for 21 yards
It was another disappointing game for all the running backs. Rice couldn't find any room to run, but he did contribute in pass protection and as a safety valve for Joe Flacco.
Bernard Pierce: D-
Stats: 6 carries for 11 yards (1.8 YPC)
Pierce actually showed some good burst on a few occasions, working up the gut and demonstrating his ability to run with power. Unfortunately, more often than not he was hit behind the line of scrimmage and had to fight hard for a single yard.
Vonta Leach: D-
Stats: 1 carry for 2 yards (2.0 YPC)
The shift to a spread offense meant that Leach saw very little action. He made a few good plays with his limited snaps, including a short-yardage conversion for a first down, but his presence wasn't felt for most of the game.
Torrey Smith: A-
Stats: 5 receptions for 78 yards
Smith put together a pretty good day statistically, and he pulled his weight like he has all season. His stat line would look a lot nicer had he been able to rake in a long touchdown, but Joe Flacco's pass was too weak.
Jacoby Jones: B
Stats: 4 receptions for 27 yards
Jacoby Jones was solid but didn't do any lasting damage to the Browns defense. His route-running has looked pretty good, but Flacco couldn't connect with him for any big plays in Week 9.
Marlon Brown: A+
Stats: 5 receptions for 54 yards, 2 TDs
Marlon Brown was the best Raven on the field in Cleveland. He scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, accounting for 14 of Baltimore's 18 points. He's developed good chemistry with Flacco, especially in the red zone, and made plays whenever he had the chance.
Tandon Doss: C+
Stats: 2 receptions for 29 yards
Doss made a couple of nice grabs, and he's become a valuable slot receiver for Baltimore.
Deonte Thompson: C+
Stats: 3 receptions for 24 yards
Thompson's playing time has decreased with the return of Jacoby Jones, but he made catches when he was targeted and played pretty well.
Dallas Clark: B-
Stats: 1 reception for 14 yards
Clark's very limited workload caps his grade in the B range, but he made a huge play with his one target. He converted a 3rd-and-10 with a 14-yard reception to keep the chains moving.
He's been a reliable third-down receiver for Flacco all year, but he wasn't too involved against Cleveland.
Ed Dickson: D-
Stats: 1 reception for 3 yards
Dickson returned to his pass-dropping habits. To be fair, it would've been a tough catch, but those are the type of plays that Baltimore is missing without sure-handed receivers like Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta in the lineup.
Eugene Monroe: B
Monroe played another solid game and has been a huge upgrade over Bryant McKinnie.
A.Q. Shipley: D
Shipley struggled as a replacement for Kelechi Osemele. He didn't get any push in the run game, and he frequently gave up penetration to the Browns defensive line.
Gino Gradkowski: D+
Gradkowski didn't play a great game. Part of it is the zone scheme, but he seems too slow off the blocks and is frequently pushed backwards by defensive tackles.
Marshal Yanda: B-
Yanda was good, but there was a little miscommunication along the right side of the line that resulted in pressure on Joe Flacco.
Michael Oher: C-
Oher was pretty bad in the run game; he failed to seal the edge on outside plays and gave up pressure from Paul Kruger.
Haloti Ngata: A-
Stats: 4 tackles (1 solo)
Ngata made a number of big plays against the run, including some big third-down stops. His powerful tackle on Willis McGahee could have saved the game, but the Browns converted on fourth down to ice the game.
Ngata got some pressure on Campbell (including getting called for an unlucky penalty) and was a force against the run.
Brandon Williams: B
Stats: 1 tackle
With the return of Terrence Cody, there was less playing time for Williams, but he continued to build on an impressive rookie campaign.
Terrence Cody: B
Stats: 2 solo tackles, 1 TFL
Cody looked pretty good in his return to action, stuffing the run on a few occasions. He's still getting back into game shape, and he has a lot of work to do to persuade the Ravens to re-sign him at the end of the year.
Arthur Jones: B-
Stats: 4 tackles (2 solo), 1 QB hit
Jones played well, getting pressure on Campbell and hitting him once. He was also good against the run, shedding blocks and making solid tackles.
Chris Canty: B-
Stats: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 QB hit
Like Jones, Canty played a solid game. He did a bit of everything and was a big part of the Browns' failure to run the ball.
Daryl Smith: B+
Stats: 9 tackles (7 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 2 QB hits
Smith was again the leading tackler for the Ravens, and he was very effective as a pass-rusher. He was solid in coverage for most of the game, but he got beaten up the middle by Chris Ogbonnaya for a costly completion toward the end of the game.
Jameel McClain: B
Stats: 5 tackles (4 solo)
Like last week, McClain got the bulk of the snaps alongside Smith, and he played well. He showed his good instincts, reading Campbell's eyes and reacting quickly to the ball.
Josh Bynes: C
Stats: 1 PD
Bynes didn't get much burn, but he played great coverage and was solid against the run.
Arthur Brown: C
Stats: 1 QB hit
On his most noticeable play, Brown came barreling up through an A gap and forced Campbell to get rid of the ball very quickly.
Terrell Suggs: B+
Stats: 7 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit
Suggs turned in another solid performance and added another sack to his total, but he wasn't a game-wrecking presence. His sack came early on, and he didn't get much pressure on Campbell after that.
Elvis Dumervil: C+
Stats: 0 tackles
Dumervil didn't record any stats, but he was getting some pressure off the edge throughout the game.
Courtney Upshaw: C
Stats: 2 tackles
Upshaw was good against the run.
Pernell McPhee: C
Stats: 1 solo tackle
McPhee didn't have many opportunities to make his mark on the game.
Lardarius Webb: D
Stats: 6 tackles (5 solo), 1 PD
Webb gave up a number of completions and missed a few tackles, including during the highlight of the game when Davone Bess juked him out of his cleats.
He doesn't look like the same cornerback as last year, and there is some reason for concern in Baltimore when it comes to Webb.
Jimmy Smith: B+
Stats: 4 solo tackles
Smith has really come on well as the year has gone on. He made a number of good plays, including a great tackle to prevent a touchdown on 3rd-and-goal.
Corey Graham: B-
Stats: 8 tackles (6 solo), 1 PD
Graham was up-and-down against Cleveland. He gave up some completions and missed a tackle which led to a big gain, but he came back well and made some good plays in coverage.
James Ihedigbo: C+
Stats: 6 tackles (3 solo)
Ihedigbo played good deep coverage as the Ravens didn't give up any huge plays. He was also good in run support.
Matt Elam: C
Stats: 2 solo tackles, 1 TFL
Elam turned in a solid performance and was good in coverage for most of the afternoon. He was also making some plays around the line of scrimmage and made a tackle for a loss.
Justin Tucker: A
Stats: 1-of-1 FG (51 yards), 1/1 XP
The 51-yarder was right up the middle, and it showed off how strong Tucker's leg is. He didn't have much to do, but he made the most of his opportunities.
Sam Koch: D
Stats: 7 punts for 298 yards (42.6 avg), 2 IN20
Koch has been very inconsistent this season, and his last punt of the game was his worst. It traveled only 25 yards and gave the Browns great field position when he could have pinned them back close to their goal line.
Jacoby Jones: C
Stats: 2 kick returns for 45 yards (22.5 avg)
Jones didn't do anything spectacular with his returns, but he was solid.
Tandon Doss: F
Stats: 4 punt returns for 71 yards (17.8 avg), 1 muffed punt
The failing grade may seem a little harsh, especially considering the impressive average, but Doss' primary responsibility is to make sure he doesn't turn the ball over. He failed.