Joe Flacco showed good footwork early in the game, but he never seemed comfortable in the pocket, and was more content to throw screen and dump passes than go downfield. After getting pressure, Flacco lost his poise for the second and third quarters. He continues to throw a lot of high passes. Sometimes, you wonder if he has hit his ceiling.
Running backs: F
Halfback Ray Rice was ineffective as a runner and at times seemed to lose his balance easily. Jacksonville shadowed him out of the backfield as a receiver, and took away those short passes which have become big gainers for the Ravens. Rice also struggled as a pass blocker, and Ricky Williams might have given the Ravens a lift Monday night if used more often.
Wide receivers: F
The Ravens' receivers were smothered down the field, but there were times only two were in patterns because the Ravens had to keep players in to pass block. A lot of the routes appeared to be simple in nature like comebacks and square ins, but that's also because Flacco didn't have a lot of time to throw, which eliminates crossing routes.
Offensive line: F
This group hasn't made much progress since the opening week against Pittsburgh. For the Ravens' passing game to improve, they have to get better play out of tackles Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher. The Ravens miss starting left guard Ben Grubbs, and if he returns to the lineup, it will definitely improve pass protection.
Defensive line: C+
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew had over 100 yards rushing and had some nice cutback runs. The Ravens were good at the point of attack, especially in the first half. The Ravens got solid tackle play inside, but their ends got washed down a few times. Overall, not a great game by the Ravens, but one they could have won.
Inside linebackers Jameel McClain and Ray Lewis were strong early, but seemed to wear down in the second half. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had a strong game, but the Jaguars did a nice job of handling the Ravens' pass rush. Strongside linebacker Jarret Johnson didn't have much of an impact.
Strong safety Bernard Pollard played hard and was physical. He delivered some nice hits. Free safety Ed Reed also had a lot of tackles, and came up strong in run support. Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams didn't get challenged much, but gave up some key receptions in the second half.
Special teams: C
Punter Sam Koch was the Ravens' best offensive weapon in the first half. Placekicker Billy Cundiff missed his only field goal attempt. The Ravens gave up some big yardage on punt returns in the first half, and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo committed a penalty that almost turned the momentum of the game.
Defensively, the Ravens played well enough to win even though rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert started to become more comfortable in the second half. The Ravens' offensive game plan going into the game was a mystery, and still is afterwards. Coach John Harbaugh made a poor decision with the onside kick with two timeouts remaining late in the game. The Jaguars' two-point lead became five points on Josh Scobee's field goal.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun