Joe Flacco did a good job making his reads and being on the same page with his receivers. His passes had some velocity on them, and his best throws were high and tight. He missed on one long one to Anquan Boldin, but he delivered when he had to make plays. Flacco had a QB rating of 128.7.
Offensive line: B
Cleveland threw a lot of different blitz packages at the Ravens, and the Ravens handled them fairly well. Left tackle Michael Oher and left guard Ben Grubbs were dominant, and the right side of tackle Marshal Yanda and Chris Chester turned in solid performances. The Ravens need to get more production out of center Matt Birk and more at the point of attack from the right side.
Boldin should share his paycheck with cornerback Eric Wright. It's apparent that Boldin has really strong hands because he appears to claw a football. Tight end Todd Heap had four catches for 46 yards, but needs to stop jumping offside once per game. Receiver Derrick Mason had four catches for 30 yards, and more importantly, said he was happy after the game.
Running backs: B
Ray Rice averaged 5.3 yards on 15 carries, but needs to keep running instead of trying to stop and duck under defenders. Fullback Le'Ron McClain threw some really nice lead blocks while backup running back Willis McGahee ran hard to finish off the Browns. The backs did a nice job overall in pass protection.
Defensive line: D
End Cory Redding might have been having his finest game until he left at halftime with a concussion, and backup tackle Brandon McKinney also had a strong game. Starting tackles Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata got mauled up front. The Browns were just physically superior.
If you beat Ngata and Gregg, you can beat Lewis, and he got banged around inside. Weakside linebacker Jameel McClain made a lot of tackles, but most of those were downfield. The Browns got a lot of movement against strongside linebacker Jarret Johnson as well. The best of the group was rush linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had a strong game against Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas.
The only weapon the Browns had was receiver Joshua Cribbs, and his consistency down the field is questionable. The cornerbacks and safeties were poor in run support. Instead of coming up and getting themselves under control, they just dove or were off balance when attempting to tackle. At times, these guys wanted no part of big back Peyton Hillis.
Special teams: A
Sam Koch averaged 48.7 yards on three punts and had good hang time on most of them. Billy Cundiff was the unsung hero, booting two kickoffs deep into the end zone in crunch time. The Ravens had an excellent game in containing Cribbs, one of the top return specialists in the league. Jalen Parmele averaged 21.4 yards on three kickoffs.
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Mike Preston's Ravens report card
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