Mike Preston

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 45-6 rout of Rams


Lamar Jackson is starting to make this look too easy. Whatever new wrinkles defenses come up with, he has an answer, and he keeps getting better at reading coverages and making quick decisions. The magic he performs on the field every week is no longer abnormal, but expected. Grade: A

Running backs

The Ravens set the tone early by opening with halfback Mark Ingram II pounding the ball inside. Ingram and backup Gus Edwards punished the Rams for the entire game and ran through several tackles. The Ravens even got rookie running back Justice Hill some carries early in the first half. Ingram continues to be a major weapon. Grade: A


Offensive line

It’s amazing how well both tackles, Orlando Brown Jr. and Ronnie Stanley, have played. They are keys to the running game, especially the way they hook ends on outside runs. Right guard Marshal Yanda might have played his best game of the season, but the Ravens suffered a big loss when center Matt Skura went down with a sprained knee in the first half. Grade: A


The Rams were so concerned about the tight ends that they forgot about the Ravens receivers, who worked underneath coverage on slant-ins to make big plays. The Rams couldn’t cover rookie Marquise Brown in the slot and they weren’t physical in press coverage. When the Ravens wanted a play from their tight ends, they got them going across the middle. Grade: A


Defensive line

There weren’t many holes for Rams running back Todd Gurley II. Tackles Brandon Williams and Domata Peko Sr. took away the runs inside the tackles and the Ravens also got a strong game from end Chris Wormley. The Ravens shuffled several other players inside to rest the regulars. The Ravens also reacted well to screens and were able to get out into the flats or into the passing lanes before Rams quarterback Jared Goff could execute plays. Grade: A


Just like the defensive line, the Ravens were successful in taking away screen plays that had hurt them this season. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon brought a lot of heat in passing situations, as well as weak-side linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, who was strong in pass coverage, too. Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson continues to make progress and could play a bigger role late in the season. Grade: A


The Ravens did a good job of mixing coverage and basically shut down the Rams when L.A. got inside Baltimore territory. Cornerback Jimmy Smith had a good game after struggling last week, and the Rams couldn’t beat cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey or Marcus Peters downfield for big plays. Safety Chuck Clark is playing well on the back end and as a pass rusher to bring pressure from the outside. Grade: B+

Special teams

Sam Koch should have a strong leg at the end of the season because he hasn’t punted much in the past two weeks, and Justin Tucker hasn’t kicked much except on kickoffs. Coach John Harbaugh has complained about getting better returns, and he might have found an answer in De’Anthony Thomas, especially on the team’s first two offensive possessions. Grade: A-


The Ravens went on the road and trounced the Rams. They haven’t played down to their competition this season, and that’s another good sign. The Ravens did whatever they wanted to. The Ravens aren’t just beating teams, but humiliating them. Everything seems to be clicking, and maybe the special teams will take the next step as well. Grade: A