Ravens-Browns: Grading the Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco continued his solid play against the Browns. He remained cool, calm, and collected, even after the Ravens fell behind by two touchdowns. He showed nice touch on his throws and made some spectacular passes into tight coverage.
There is still a bit of a learning curve (intentional grounding penalties being one of them), but the rookie continues to make positive strides.
Offensive line: A
This unit was solid throughout the game. Flacco was well-protected throughout the game and had plenty of time to make his reads downfield. The line opened up holes for the most part but softened up when it counted most.
Wide receivers: B+
Welcome to the offense, Mark Clayton. The wide receiver notched his first touchdown in two seasons. Derrick Mason continues to be Flacco’s favorite receiver, snagging nine passes for 136 yards.
Running backs: A
Ray Rice continued to dominate among Baltimore’s running corps for the second week in a row. The rookie averaged just over seven yards per carry and created running lanes of his own. Le’Ron McClain was solid in his performance and added a touchdown that was set up by a beautiful Rice run.
The defense did a solid job of stopping the run but struggled a bit against the pass. If the Browns hadn’t insisted on running the ball against the best defense capable of stopping the run, Fabian Washington and Frank Walker would have been in for a long and brutal day.
If Braylon Edwards doesn’t drop that very catchable ball from Derek Anderson, the outcome of the game might have been different. Bart Scott led the team in tackles (10), and Terrell Suggs snagged a key interception and returned it for a touchdown that sealed the victory for the Ravens.
Special teams: C+
The Ravens were helped immensely by the Browns’ ineptness, which set up great field position for the Ravens for much of the first half. The special-teams coverage continues to have ups and downs. In this game, they had both, and sometimes at the same time.
For instance, Matt Stover kicks off a 62-yarder, which is pretty good for a 40-something. The bad news is that the Browns’ Josh Cribbs returned it 92 yards for a touchdown.
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