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Mike Preston's report card after the Ravens' 20-0 win over the Bengals

Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston talks about the Ravens' 20-0 win over to the Cincinnati Bengals. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

CINCINNATI — Quarterback: Joe Flacco showed toughness, but he also showed a lot of rust. He finished with a rating of 71.0, but came close to throwing three or four interceptions. He also allowed the play clock to expire twice late in the game. His best play was the 48-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Jeremy Maclin, which probably was a check-off and good read by both players. Grade: C-

Running backs: Neither running back, Terrance West nor Buck Allen, was spectacular. But each kept grinding and took away the Bengals' desire to stop the run. By the second half, West was getting 2 or 3 yards on second effort. West had 80 yards on 19 carries and Allen had 71 yards on 21. They were a good 1-2 punch against the Bengals. Grade: B

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Receivers: The Ravens got very little production out of their receivers, but didn't need a lot to win. They stayed with the run and Flacco threw sparingly to wideouts Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. Maclin had the big play, the 48-yard touchdown reception, but Wallace had one catch for 8 yards and Breshad Perriman had one for 5 yards even though he was targeted four times. Grade: C -

Offensive line: The Ravens had just 268 yards of total offense, but this group pounded the Bengals. The Ravens were balanced in their approach, running left and right. Pass protection needs to be better as the season goes on and the Ravens held too much, especially center Ryan Jensen. Grade: B

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Defensive line: The Bengals had some success running up the middle, but for the most part tackles Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams played well inside. The tandem got a lot of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton and drew a lot of double teams, allowing the outside guys to go one-on-one. End Brent Urban got off to a slow start, but played well over the final three quarters. Grade: A

Linebackers: C.J. Mosley used to be a liability in pass coverage, but has developed in that area during the past two years. He led the Ravens with nine tackles. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had six tackles, including two sacks and played well against the Bengals' young tackles. In the past he was dominated by former Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth. Kamalei Correa missed a couple of tackles but he does fly to the football. Grade: A

Secondary: This group had three interceptions and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr were fearless in press coverage, even on A.J. Green. Safety Tony Jefferson led the Ravens in tackles with nine, five of those solo. He also had one sack. Grade: A

Special teams: Punter Sam Koch averaged 41.7 yards on six punts and had a long of 52 yards. He placed two inside the 20-yard line. Michael Campanaro was solid in punt returns, returning three for 23 yards. Justin Tucker converted on two field goals of 25 yards each. Grade: A

Coaching: Flacco did not play in a preseason game and the Ravens didn't allow him to beat them. They stayed with the running game, one of the few times they have shown that type of commitment in years. On defense the Ravens dialed up a lot of pressures on Dalton and they didn't give up any long plays for touchdowns, which they have done in the past against the Bengals. Grade: A

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