As far as this week goes, the Ravens have continued the trend of disappointing Week Two performances with a 24-23 loss on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are my grades by position.
Joe Flacco was nowhere near as successful as he was on Monday Night, but the loss is not entirely his fault. This game did feature a lot more errant throws from Flacco, as he was below average to say the least in the second half. The first half, Flacco was efficient. He didn’t throw for a ton of yards, but he was dink and dunking the offense along to create some scoring opportunities on offense. However, the interception he threw was into triple coverage and mostly because he was looking to Dennis Pitta solely throughout the game. Flacco was under duress for a majority of the game, causing balls to float and him to make rash decisions. 4-14 on third down didn’t exactly help the team’s cause either, but this is not solely Flacco’s fault. Completing 52 percent of your passes on 42 attempts doesn’t help much either.
Running Backs: A-
For the most part, when Ray Rice touched the ball, he was gaining positive yardage. 152 yards total on 22 touches is yet another solid performance for Rice. One might argue getting him more touches during the game. He has been featured in the offense a little less than expected and it was somewhat surprising not seeing more of Vonta Leach and Rice involved in the offense, especially since the offense diverted away from the no-huddle approach. Speaking of Leach, solid touchdown run in that no one clearly wanted to tackle him on that play. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens will try to get Rice involved more in the offense next week as they take on the New England Patriots.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C-
The only reason this grade is not a D+ is due to the fact that Dennis Pitta had another solid game for the Ravens contributing eight catches for 65 yards and Jacob Jones had a nice 21-yard touchdown catch. The receiving corps was simply nonexistent catching only six balls for 85 yards. Ed Dickson had only one catch for 23 yards to go along with an underwhelming performance by the receivers. The main problem with Joe Flacco today was his receivers couldn’t find any separation against the Eagles’ secondary and seems to be a recurring problem for the Ravens. Last week against the Bengals, not much was seen out of Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith and the trend continued this week.
Offensive Line: C-
It was clear this week that the offensive line had a much tougher test in this Philadelphia Eagles front four. Cullen Jenkins had his way at times with Ramon Harewood in his second NFL start and Trent Cole was giving Michael Oher fits on the left side, even adding a sack-fumble to his resume early on. Kelechi Osemele did a fairly decent job against Jason Babin and Marshall Yanda remained consistent by putting out another solid performance, especially run blocking. Matt Birk had an uncharacteristic holding penalty that was necessary for Joe Flacco’s long-term health. Overall, the line didn’t have the same success in providing a widespread pocket for Flacco and each throw he attempted to step into was almost always forced. Running up the middle seemed to be one of the stronger suits for the Ravens this week as Ray Rice broke a few nice runs between the tackles. Bryant McKinnie saw action today as a sixth man on the line and played decent, especially in pass blocking.