Defensive Line: D+
The inability to get a pass rush has one again hurt the Ravens this week. There were a few nice shots on Michael Vick and he was forced to make rash decisions that led to two interceptions, but there wasn’t a consistent push up front. Terrence Cody and Ma’ake Kemoeatu made minimal impacts and hardly demanded double-teams and/or could fight off of blocks. Haloti Ngata was in the backfield for a chunk of the day and kept reminding Vick of his presence. Pernell McPhee didn’t play bad, but got caught inside too much, failing to keep contain on LeSean McCoy ad Michael Vick. Arthur Jones played okay, but seemed to be more involved in altercations, rather than finishing off tackles. The lack of the pass rush is key and is becoming a growing concern with Terrell Suggs absent with his partially torn achilles tendon.
Tackling was a major problem in this game. LeSean McCoy is an extremely shifty back and is tough to bring down, but the Ravens appeared to have him dead to rights on some plays that he managed to escape and get positive yards from. Another problem? Brent Celek looked like Rob Gronkowski out there. Good luck next Sunday night. Courtney Upshaw did a fairly decent job in his first career start, but was caught overpuesueing too much on plays and not setting the edge. Albert McClellan did a decent job, but missed a key interception that may have buried the Eagles. Ray Lewis played okay, but tended to overpursue too many plays, rather than play behind the ball. Danell Ellerbe added a sack and Jameel McClain had five tackles.
The secondary play was not that bad, when Bernard Pollard was in the game. The Jeremy Maclin touchdown can be attributed to miscommunication in the defense. Cary Williams was playing curl-flat coverage, thinking he had safety help over the top from Ed Reed. Reed bit on the Vick scramble, leaving Maclin alone in the end zone. Bernard Pollard was everywhere early on, but left with an injury that could damage this defense even further. James Ihedigbo filled in for the injured Pollard, but didn’t make the same impact. Ed Reed added another interception to his total, and Lardarius Webb did well in coming up and playing the run, leading the team in tackles and forcing a fumble in the red zone that was recovered by Ray Lewis. However, the corners struggled at times covering DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek was all over the field making plays, even leaping over Ed Reed. Jimmy Smith seemed lost turning and flipping the wrong way putting him in bad position to cover receivers.
Special Teams: A
For those that had questions about Justin Tucker, he answered the bell today with field goals from 56, 51 and 48. Sam Koch had five punts with an average of 50.2 yards a punt. Deonte Thompson had a nice 49-yard kickoff return and Jacoby Jones had an average of 11.3 yards a punt return on three returns. The only reason this isn’t an A+ is because Sean Considine should never carry the football, period.
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