Joe Flacco had trouble finding open receivers and hitting targets against a zone defense, but he still kept his cool and controlled the game. He made only one major mistake, which certainly hurt, but otherwise he was fine. His completion percentage was down, but many of his incompletions were hitting receivers in the hands, so how much blame can we really assign?
Running backs: B
It is a tale of three backs. Willis McGahee deserves a D for lack of concentration and rust leading to bad numbers and a pair of fumbles. Ray Rice played well when he had the opportunity, but injury kept him from being a real factor. Le’Ron McClain’s efforts deserve an A. He ran for a touchdown and helped to eat up more than seven minutes of clock in the final quarter.
Wide Receivers: C
Rarely open, rarely able to catch. A few moments saved this unit from complete failure, including TE Todd Heap’s big fourth down catch and Derrick Mason’s touchdown reception. For most of the game, the Ravens receivers were invisible in the cloud of Redskins DBs.
Offensive Line: B+
The Ravens offensive line did a fine job of keeping pressure off Flacco for most of the game and certainly dominated the running game. They had a little bit of help, though—namely an extra tackle in on numerous plays and heavy use of unbalanced formations. Regardless, the unit redeemed themselves following last week’s weak performance.
Defensive Line: A+
The Ravens defensive line owned the game. Nothing was more satisfying than seeing Terrell Suggs sack Jason Campbell just moments after Chris Samuel left the field due to injury and was replaced by a back-up. At one moment, Suggs even pointed to the new guy while looking at the Ravens bench, appearing to say “This guy is blocking me?” Similar to last week, Jason Campbell had trouble getting any passes off without interference and the ‘Skins running game had no where to go.
Ray Lewis totaled 13 tackles, Jarrett Johnson had a solid day, Bart Scott had one of his best games of the season, and Terrell Suggs was on fire (as previously mentioned). Somehow, though, the linebacking unit is not starring in this show the way it once did…
Defensive Backs: A
The Ravens secondary handled Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El without blinking. Once the weakest piece of the Ravens defense, the secondary has turned a corner in recent weeks. Ed Reed is playing at his best, but his success is due in large part to the solid play of Samari Rolle and Fabian Washington on the corners. With few exceptions, the Ravens had the passing game completely locked down.
Special Teams: C+
Matt Stover hit his kicks. Steve Hauschka was just okay—hindered a bit by the wind. Sam Koch had some very solid punts. Penalties and poor choices on kick and punt returns, however, continue to be the Ravens MO on special teams.
Offensively, the Ravens should have been able to do more. The Redskins have a solid defense, but there were plenty of opportunities and the Ravens continued to miss on them. Low marks for not fixing the special teams yet, too. But otherwise? High marks for winning a night game for the first time in years and for keeping this defense as focused as ever.