Final Score: Baltimore 18, Detroit 16
|Position Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Lions Week 15
Game Analysis for Baltimore
Pass Offense: Quarterback Joe Flacco took advantage of a subpar Lions pass defense (ranked 26th, allowing 255.8 yards per game) with frequent deep passes. While these deep throws were not always on target, they often drew interference penalties, making them equally effective.
Unfortunately, the Ravens' passing attack stalled frequently inside the red zone, which nearly cost Baltimore at the end of the contest.
Flacco finished 20-of-38 for 222 yards with no touchdowns and no turnovers.
Run Offense: Baltimore’s rushing attack continued to struggle early in this contest, which caused the offense to become more pass-oriented as the game wore on.
Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice combined for 77 yards on 19 carries.
Pass Defense: Baltimore did an excellent job of containing Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the first half, and forced three second-half interceptions.
Stafford often appeared uncomfortable in the pocket and was forced to adjust his point of delivery at times, which led to several mistakes.
Stafford finished the game 18-of-34 for 235 yards with one touchdown and three picks.
Run Defense: The Ravens allowed Detroit to find some success on the ground, which seems a fair trade-off for an impressive defensive performance against the pass.
Lions running back Reggie Bush ran for 86 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Had Detroit not trailed late, he likely would have had an even bigger day.
Special Teams: While the special teams unit put together an average overall performance, kicker Justin Tucker deserves praise.
He connected on all six field-goal attempts and accounted for all of Baltimore’s points in this contest. His 61-yard game-winner was beyond impressive.
Coaching: The Ravens began to drift away from the run as the game progressed, which was actually a wise decision. Offensive balance is important, but the Ravens are better attacking through the air (20th-ranked pass offense) than on the ground (30th).
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees somehow managed to contain monster wideout Calvin Johnson for much of the game, which is noteworthy. Unfortunately, Johnson found a way to break free for several key plays late.
First-Half Analysis for Baltimore
Pass Offense: Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore passing attack was mostly efficient in the first half. However, the unit was not without its issues.
Flacco was forced off the mark at times by an aggressive Detroit pass rush. While he was not sacked, it was pressure that caused a promising drive to stall inside the red zone twice in the second quarter.
Flacco finished the half 12-of-20 for 135 yards.
Run Offense: The Ravens have struggled to run the football effectively throughout the season, and the trend continued in the first half.
Bernard Pierce led the team with 17 yards on five carries, while Ray Rice added 13 yards on six rushing attempts.
Pass Defense: Baltimore did an excellent job of defending the pass in the first half, considering the Lions possess the league’s third-best passing attack (297.2 yards per game).
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford never really appeared comfortable in the first half, despite being sacked just once. He finished the half just 8-of-15 for 70 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Run Defense: Baltimore came into this game ranked seventh in run defense (101.2 yards allowed per game), but it had difficulty containing Detroit's rushing attack early.
Lions running back Reggie Bush rumbled for 46 yards on just six carries and scored the half’s only touchdown on a nifty 14-yard scamper.
Special Teams: While the Baltimore special teams unit did not make any major mistakes in the first half, the group did not find a way to make any notable plays, either.
Return specialist Jacoby Jones returned one kick and one punt for 24 yards apiece, while kicker Justin Tucker connected on all three field-goal attempts.
Coaching: Baltimore stuck with a relatively balanced offensive attack, which is curious. Considering the Lions’ defensive strength is against the run (99.3 yards per game allowed), it is interesting that the Ravens did not attack Detroit’s 26th-ranked pass defense (255.8 yards per game allowed) more.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees does deserve credit for finding a way to limit the production of star Lions wideout Calvin Johnson (two catches, eight yards).