Week 16 was ugly for the Baltimore Ravens, as the New England Patriots handed them a 41-7 loss—the worst home defeat in franchise history. Nothing went right for the Ravens, and the report card grades for each player reflect that.
The grades are based on the statistical output of each player, but also on film study. I went back and watched the tape (a masochistic experience, to be sure) and looked at how well each player did his job.
For example, the running backs didn't put up big numbers, but they did make plays when they had space in front of them. The underwhelming numbers were the result of poor offensive line play, so it is the offensive linemen that carry the lower grades.
To find out how each player performed, dive into the grades, and let me know if you disagree with the results.
Joe Flacco: D+
Stats: 22-of-38 (58 percent) for 260 yards (6.8 YPA), 0 TDs, 2 INTs, Passer rating of 56.9
Joe Flacco looked troubled by his knee injury in the first half, as he wasn't moving around the pocket very well. Whether the knee was bothering him or not, he played pretty terribly in the first 30 minutes. He started with an underthrown deep ball to a wide-open Torrey Smith that would have been a touchdown.
He underthrew several other passes in the game and made some bad reads, including a throw deep into the middle of the field, where safety Devin McCourty was the only player near it.
Flacco played much better in the second half, but his interceptions and errant throws earn him the disappointing grade.
Tyrod Taylor: D+
Stats: 1-of-4 (25 percent) for 2 yards (0.5 YPA), 0 TDs, 1 INT, Passer rating of 0.0, 3 rushes for 39 yards
The game got so out of hand that Tyrod Taylor actually saw the field. Unfortunately, his limited snaps were a nightmare. The botched snap wasn't his fault, and the interception also was more on Marlon Brown's route running than it was on Taylor's throw.
Additionally, Taylor showed how dangerous he can be running the ball as he was Baltimore's second-leading rusher despite having only five carries. Taylor's stint on the field was a comedy of errors (except it wasn't funny), but none of it was really his fault.
Ray Rice: B-
Stats: 11 carries for 40 yards (3.6 YPC), 2 receptions for 23 yards
Week 16 was a regular day at the office for Ray Rice. When the holes were there, he hit them hard and made some nice plays. Unfortunately, the holes were rarely there. He ripped off a few nice gains on screen plays, and that's something the Ravens need to exploit more frequently.
Bernard Pierce: B
Stats: 10 carries for 31 yards (3.1 YPC), 3 receptions for 27 yards
Pierce's stat line is worse than Rice's, but he was the more effective player. He made great use of openings when they arose, but Pierce also made some great plays when there was nothing in front of him.
Torrey Smith: C+
Stats: 3 receptions for 69 yards
Torrey Smith was wide open down the sideline for what would have been a long touchdown, but the ball was underthrown. Smith had to come back to it, and while the defenders were right there, that's a catch Baltimore would like him to make as the No. 1 guy. Other than that, Smith wasn't too involved in the offense.
He made a physical catch with Aqib Talib draped all over him and picked up a ton of yards after the catch on his longest play of the game.
Marlon Brown: C
Stats: 4 receptions for 51 yards
Brown has been used all over the field, and he made a number of nice plays when given the opportunity. There was one catch-and-run play in which he ran a shallow cross and used his speed to turn the corner and pick up 21 yards.
Jacoby Jones: C
Stats: 1 reception for 11 yards
Jones only made one catch against the Pats, but Flacco tried to force it to him on a few other occasions.
Dennis Pitta: B
Stats: 4 receptions for 34 yards
Pitta is still being gradually worked back into the offense, and the tight end made a few important plays when called upon including a couple of third-down conversions. He also made a spectacular sideline grab that was initially ruled incomplete.
That kind of tough-catch ability is why the Ravens are so ecstatic that Pitta is back in the fold.
Ed Dickson: C-
Stats: 4 receptions for 44 yards
Dickson made some plays in the passing game—a rarity for him this year—but his subpar run blocking was the more noticeable contribution.
Eugene Monroe: B+
Stats: 0 sacks allowed
I don't know what's more disconcerting: the fact that the player Baltimore acquired midseason has frequently been the best player on the offensive line, or the fact that he was the only lineman to have a grade higher than a D.
Monroe handled Chandler Jones very well for most of the game and kept Flacco clean. He had a few lapses in the run game, but he was probably the Ravens' best lineman in terms of both pass protection and run blocking.
A.Q. Shipley: D-
Stats: 0 sacks allowed, 1 personal foul penalty (illegal use of hands to the face)
It was a rough day at the office for Shipley, but he wasn't alone in that regard. He struggled in the run game and couldn't hold on to his blocks or drive his man down the field.
Gino Gradkowski: D-
Stats: 0 sacks allowed
Gradkowski struggled to transition to the second level in the running game, and frequently got driven back into the pocket in pass protection. To top it all off, he ended the game with a terrible snap that was recovered in the end zone by Chandler Jones for a New England touchdown.
Marshal Yanda: D
Stats: 1 sack allowed
Yanda is the Ravens' highest-paid member of the O-line, so it's a little worrying to see him struggle like he did against the Patriots. He was mostly solid in pass protection (except for the sack he allowed), but he missed blocks in the running game and his weak blocks led to tackles on the running backs.
Michael Oher: D-
Stats: 1 sack allowed
Oher is playing uninspiring football right now, as he has for most of the season. He failed to pick up a corner blitz which led to a sack, and then he was beaten off the edge later in the game which caused Flacco to step up into another sack.
On the ground, he frequently whiffed on blocks including a critical miss on 4th-and-1 near the goal line. His day was summed up nicely on a five-yard gain by Bernard Pierce. That sounds positive for Oher, but it's not. Pierce had to reverse the play because Oher was driven into the backfield by...cornerback Kyle Arrington, who weighs 125 pounds less than Oher.
Haloti Ngata: B-
Stats: 6 tackles, 1 PD
Ngata was coming off a truly dominant performance against the Detroit Lions, but he wasn't as consistently effective against New England. He certainly made a few nice plays, but it was a fairly average performance by the nose tackle.
Terrence Cody: C
Stats: 3 tackles (1 solo)
Cody showed his good side and his bad side. On the good, he was able to shed blocks quickly and make some stops in the running game. The negative side, however, was his tendency to get eaten up by blocks and pushed off the spot.
Arthur Jones: A
Stats: 8 tackles (4 solo), 1 TFL, 1 personal foul (illegal use of hands to the face)
Perhaps it was the motivation of playing against his brother's team, but Arthur Jones was dominant for the Ravens. He was frequently in the backfield and made plays against the run and the pass.
Chris Canty: C
Stats: 2 tackles
Canty made a couple of tackles in the running game, but he hasn't materialized as the pass-rusher Baltimore thought they were signing.
Daryl Smith: B-
Stats: 11 tackles (4 solo), 0.5 sacks, 1 PD, 1 QB hit
Smith, as per usual, was making plays all over the field. His versatility makes him a force, but he did have problems shedding blocks to make stops in the running game.
Jameel McClain: C+
Stats: 8 tackles (3 solo)
McClain made plenty of tackles, but he didn't have a tremendous game. Like Smith, he was sometimes outmuscled by Patriots blockers and couldn't shed blocks in time to make tackles.
Terrell Suggs: A-
Stats: 5 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 2 TFL, 2 QB hits
Terrell Suggs had disappeared for the last month, but he was excellent in Week 16. He finally notched a sack by bringing down his favorite punching bag, but it was his play against the run that was a sight for sore eyes.
He did overpursue on a couple of occasions, which left cutback lanes open to the running backs, but he also set the edge more often than not and made plays in the running game. It was a great all-around performance by "Sizzle."
Elvis Dumervil: B
Stats: 1 tackle, 1 PD
Dumervil wasn't on the field as much as Suggs, but he generated some pressure and played a good all-around game also.
Courtney Upshaw: B-
Stats: 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hits
Upshaw set the edge well and was a big part of the run defense. He also got to Brady and registered a half-sack on the Patriots QB.
Lardarius Webb: A
Stats: 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 PD
Webb was phenomenal as a tackler, making some great stops and landing crushing blows. He also showed some good deep-ball coverage to recover after Aaron Dobson had gotten behind him.
Jimmy Smith: C-
Stats: 4 tackles (3 solo)
Smith has been performing at an elite level recently, but this wasn't a good matchup for him. He couldn't keep up with the speedy Patriots receivers, and he was called for a pass-interference penalty that put the Pats on the goal line.
New England did a great job using formations (stacks and bunches) to get their receivers free releases, and Smith wasn't able to get his hands on receivers at the line of scrimmage. As a result, he couldn't match their speed and was beaten on many occasions.
Corey Graham: C-
Stats: 0 tackles
Graham wasn't in on the action as he normally is, but he did miss a tackle on Julian Edelman down the sideline.
James Ihedigbo: C+
Stats: 4 tackles (2 solo)
Ihedigbo was solid against his former club, but he was only average.
Matt Elam: C+
Stats: 6 tackles (2 solo)
Like Ihedigbo, Elam was fairly mediocre. He didn't make spectacular plays but he didn't make any big mistakes, either.
Justin Tucker: F
Stats: 0-of-1 FG (37), 1-of-1 XP
An F may seem harsh, but he shouldn't have missed such a short field goal. It didn't matter too much in the grand scheme of things, but Tucker didn't do his job.
Sam Koch: A+
Stats: 4 punts for 212 yards (53.0 average), 1 Inside 20
Koch was fantastic, showing off his huge leg on a number of occasions against the Patriots.
Jacoby Jones: A
Stats: 2 kick returns for 61 yards (30.5 average), 4 punt returns for 36 (9.0 average)
The New England coverage was excellent, so Jones did a tremendous job of breaking big gains when he had the chance.