This seems harsh, but Joe was terrible yesterday. Save for one decent drive, he wouldn’t have gotten even a passing grade yesterday. It was arguably his worst game as a Raven. I talked after the Patriots game about Joe needing to come up biggest when the team needs him the most (the way Tom Brady and company tend to)-and the first two drives of the game were when the Ravens needed Flacco the most. He didn’t deliver. He needs to figure out how tall Mark Clayton (and Ray Rice) are, too. If he continues to overthrow those guys, he’s gonna get them killed, or he’s gonna get picked more.
Running Backs: B
Don’t blame Ray Rice for this one. He had the heart of a champion, and was the best player on the field wearing white. Should the coaching staff be using Le’Ron McClain (who played well) and Willis McGahee more? Maybe, but not because Ray Rice isn’t playing well.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C
No terrible mistakes by this unit, but not a particularly good performance either. Derrick Mason had to play defensive back more than receiver on a couple of plays, and Todd Heap had no idea where the first down marker was on that 3rd and 5. It was not a great day for them.
Offensive Line: C
The 2nd half was PARTICULARLY ugly for this unit. I’m not sure how much the team worked no-huddle and with a huddle during the week, and if changing on the fly in Cincinnati hurt them; but the penalties in the 2nd half from Oher, Gaither and Grubbs were just unneccessary. Not a good day for the unit that had arguably been the best on the season.
Defensive Line: D
This unit CLEARLY missed Haloti Ngata. They got almost NO pressure on Carson Palmer-and certainly no game changing plays (even Terrell Suggs’ sack was for a grand total of -1 yard). Cedric Benson should not be gauging the Ravens defense ONCE-more or less twice. It all started up front, and it wasn’t good.
I’m not REALLY sure why I am giving them this good of a grade; I guess it’s because Ray Lewis really played with a lot of heart, and the unit as a whole did make some plays, even if they were beat a few times too. This unit is going to have to apply more of the pressure, and has to be more of a punishing group. They have failed in these areas thus far, but have tackled better than the rest of the defense….I guess.
Look, I don’t think Champ Bailey could have stayed with the Bengals’ receivers given the time Palmer had to throw the ball; and Chad Ochocinco made some AWESOME grabs; but this was poor. Lardarius Webb did give some solid effort when he came into the game, but he has gone untested as far as actual cover abilities. There is no answer to improve this group. When you have an average secondary, you MUST get better pressure. This combination hasn’t worked the way they had hoped.
Special Teams: D
Steve Hauschka’s miss was critical, but he wasn’t the only part of this unit that struggled. Penalties on special teams are really unthinkable, and even Sam Koch struggled. It’s infectious right now.
Maybe the worst game of the season for the entire staff. Unprepared from the beginning, and not enough corrections in-game. Greg Mattison deserves SOME credit for taking away the middle of the field AFTER the Bengals’ first 3 drives, but this was NOT a good game from them. The execution wasn’t much better, but John Harbaugh and company deserve to take their licks after this. WHY DOES CAM CAMERON CALL JUMP BALLS FOR 5’10″ RECEIVERS?!?!?! Ugh….