Jets vs. Ravens: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Baltimore
As you would expect from such a lopsided victory, many players on the Baltimore Ravens roster escaped with good grades. None are more deserving than the key contributors on defense, who confused Geno Smith all game and held the New York Jets to just three points.
The offense continued to struggle, failing to run the ball and struggling on third down, and the grades of the relevant parties reflect that.
These grades for every player on the roster are based on their statistical output and how well they did their jobs and fulfilled their roles for the team.
Joe Flacco: B
Stats: 17-of-26 (65%) for 273 yards (10.5 YPA), 1 TD, 1 INT, Passer Rating 97.1
As usual, there were good Joe Flacco moments and bad Joe Flacco moments.
Starting with the bad, he wasn't really able to keep drives going. Excluding the two huge plays, he only threw for 147 yards on the day, which is somewhat disappointing considering the weaknesses of the Jets secondary.
The interception he threw wasn't completely his fault, but he easily could have thrown two other picks had the New York defenders been able to make a play. The offense was also unable to convert any of their four red-zone trips into a touchdown, and the quarterback deserves the majority of the blame.
On the flip side, Flacco was dealing with pressure and had to improvise and avoid pressure—something he did very well. He also did complete a high percentage of his passes (for Flacco) and finally connected on some deep balls. Overall, it was a solid performance against a challenging defense, but you would like to see Flacco lead a more successful offense.
Tyrod Taylor: C+
Stats: 0-of-1 passing, 4 carries for 7 yards (1.8 YPC), 1 reception for 6 yards
Taylor's grade would be higher if the Jets didn't clamp down on his plays in the second half. He added a jolt of energy to the offense in the first half (to everyone except Flacco, who refused to move when he was lined up at receiver) and kept Rex Ryan's defense guessing.
It wasn't guessing in the second half, however, and was on top of all the two-QB formations used in the last 30 minutes, which limited Taylor's effectiveness.
Ray Rice: D+
Stats: 16 carries for 30 yards (1.9 YPC), 1 reception for -3 yards
Ray Rice's explosion last week was more to do with the opponent, and it showed in Week 12 with a crash back to reality against the best run defense in the league. Rice had nowhere to run and was oftentimes running right into a brick wall of defenders.
His lack of involvement in the passing game was disappointing also.
Bernard Pierce: C-
Stats: 11 carries for 30 yards (2.7 YPC)
Pierce fared better than Rice and showed a little bit more explosiveness when running up the middle. Still, success is relative for Ravens running backs, and Pierce's numbers and performance were not particularly noteworthy.
Vonta Leach: C+
Stats: 1 reception for 6 yards
Leach's snap count has dropped sharply since the Ravens transitioned to a spread offense, but he's still doing his job extremely well when he's in the game. He made a nice play in the passing game and blocked well when he saw the field.
Torrey Smith: B-
Stats: 2 receptions for 74 yards
The 74 yards were nice, but the two receptions were disappointing. Torrey Smith had a favorable matchup against Antonio Cromartie, who has looked a little slow in coverage this year. He couldn't take advantage of it, however.
He did make a beautiful catch down the sideline for a 60-yard pickup, but he didn't do much else.
Jacoby Jones: A-
Stats: 4 receptions for 103 yards, 1 TD
This was Jones' best game of 2013, as he was more involved in the passing attack from the beginning. He made the game-changing play, making an excellent hands catch on a perfectly thrown Flacco bomb to score a 66-yard touchdown.
Marlon Brown: C+
Stats: 1 reception for 1 yard
Brown was back on the field this week, but you may not have noticed it. He was very quiet, although his one catch was a tough, leaping grab, and he made some nice blocks downfield.
Tandon Doss: C-
Stats: 0 receptions
Doss was held without a catch on his one target.
Brandon Stokley: C
Stats: 1 reception for 7 yards
Stokley returned to action after a prolonged absence, and he was only involved in one play. He made it count, however, with an important third-down conversion.
Dallas Clark: B-
Stats: 3 receptions for 24 yards
This was actually a decent game for the tight ends, who combined to produce a Dennis Pitta-like stat line. Clark made some impressive catches including a couple of third downs. He's developed into a reliable release valve for Flacco in times of pressure.
Ed Dickson: B-
Stats: 3 receptions for 55 yards
Dickson of course dropped a pass, but he was pretty good. He showed his ability to pick up yards after the catch and finished with decent numbers.
Eugene Monroe: A-
Monroe bounced back from a disappointing game against the Chicago Bears in Week 11. He protected Flacco's blind side and didn't look troubled throughout the game.
A.Q. Shipley: C+
Shipley had a few problems against Muhammad Wilkerson, but that's not too surprising considering Wilkerson's place as one of the game's best defensive linemen.
Gino Gradkowski: B-
Gradkowski didn't look as good as he did in Week 11, but he's looking much better than he did at the start of the season. He looked in control with the assignments and making the calls and didn't look so hesitant coming off the ball.
Marshal Yanda: B+
Yanda continued his great play with a nice outing against an exceptional New York defensive line.
Michael Oher: C+
Oher was solid, but he hasn't played as well as he did during last season's playoffs.
Haloti Ngata: B+
Stats: 1 solo tackle
Ngata made his presence felt early by preventing the conversion of a 3rd-and-short run. He didn't rack up numbers, but the Jets couldn't run up the middle largely because of his ability to eat up space and blockers.
Terrence Cody: B-
Stats: 3 tackles (1 solo)
Terrence Cody has played very well since his return from injury. He was a force against the run in Week 12.
Arthur Jones: C+
Stats: 3 tackles (2 solo)
Jones played well against the run, making a few stops against New York's backs.
Chris Canty: C
Stats: 1 pass defended
Canty wasn't getting much pressure on Geno Smith, but he held his own and batted a pass at the line of scrimmage using his 6'7" frame.
DeAngelo Tyson: C
Stats: 2 solo tackles
Tyson is coming along well and played well in a rotational role.
Daryl Smith: A-
Stats: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL, 3 passes defended
Smith kept up his impressive performance at the inside linebacker position. He showed his versatility by drilling Geno Smith for a sack and playing excellent coverage and breaking up passes.
In addition, Smith showed his intelligence and leadership by making calls at the line of scrimmage when necessary and getting his teammates in the right position to succeed.
Jameel McClain: B-
Stats: 4 tackles (1 solo)
McClain was solid, making plays against the pass and run, but he looked a little slow to get outside, shed blocks and make plays on outside runs.
Arthur Brown: C+
Stats: 1 solo tackle
Brown's role has remained limited due to the depth at the position, but he's become a major contributor in nickel packages. His coverage skills have been as advertised, and he's coming along well.
Terrell Suggs: C+
Stats: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 QB hit, 1 FR
Terrell Suggs hasn't looked like the dominant player that started the year. Part of it is teams paying more attention to him in the game plan (by chipping him with backs and double-teaming him), but he hasn't been able to generate much pressure on the quarterback in the last few weeks.
Elvis Dumervil: B
Stats: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL
Dumervil came through with a sack and was once again a more consistent pass-rusher than Suggs.
Courtney Upshaw: B
Stats: 4 tackles (2 solo)
Upshaw played well against the run, as he normally does. He now needs to improve his skills in coverage and as a pass-rusher to become a complete force like Suggs normally is.
Pernell McPhee: A-
Stats: 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 3 TFL
McPhee was arguably the best outside linebacker on the day, constantly making plays in the backfield and finishing with a sack for his troubles. He was persistent and showed his high motor, and he was rewarded with a number of nice plays.
Lardarius Webb: B+
Stats: 6 solo tackles, 1 pass defended
It was yet another successful day for the secondary, although most of that has to do with the quarterback it was facing. Webb played a good game in coverage and tackled well in run support and in the open field.
Jimmy Smith: B+
Stats: 3 tackles (2 solo)
Smith continued his stellar play of recent weeks with another excellent performance in coverage.
Corey Graham: A+
Stats: 1 solo tackle, 2 INTs, 3 passes defended
Graham picked off Geno Smith twice, including one where he read Smith's eyes and made a beautiful (and somewhat risky play) by leaving his own man and jumping the passing lane. He was phenomenal in coverage for most of the game.
James Ihedigbo: B
Stats: 4 tackles (2 solo)
Neither Ihedigbo nor Elam was really tested through the air since Geno Smith didn't air it out too frequently. Ihedigbo played well against the run and tackled soundly.
Matt Elam: B
Stats: 5 tackles (4 solo)
Elam is coming into his own as a starter, making fewer mistakes and some key plays in every game.
Justin Tucker: A+
Stats: 4-of-4 FG (26, 30, 33, 53), 1-of-1XP
Tucker was magnificent despite the unfavorable conditions. He was responsible for Baltimore's first 12 points, including a 53-yard field goal that was very difficult with gusts of wind playing a role.
Sam Koch: A
Stats: 6 punts for 273 yards (45.5 avg), 1 touchback, 3 inside 20
Koch has had a few rough games in 2013, but this wasn't one of them. He frequently downed punts inside the 20-yard line and even inside the 10 (or he at least gave his coverage team the chance to make a play).
Jacoby Jones: A
5 punt returns for 108 yards (21.6 avg), 2 kick returns for 38 yards (19.0 avg)
Jones was phenomenal as a punt returner, almost breaking a couple of them for touchdowns and picking up huge chunks of yardage to set up the offense with great starting position.
His kick returning was fairly average, but he earned his high grade with his work for the punt team.