xml:space="preserve">
Columnist Mike Preston gives his position grades for the Ravens' game against the Raiders. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Quarterback: Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards. He threw just two bad passes and had his timing down with the receivers on intermediate and long passes. He finished with a QB rating of 98.6 and avoided pressure by taking one step to his right or sometimes to his left. This was easily his best performance of the season. Grade: A-

Running backs: The Ravens finished with 143 yards on 39 carries but it seemed like a lot more. Alex Collins had 55 yards rushing on 12 carries, but he made some great cuts and got additional yards by leaning. Buck Allen ran tough inside and finished with 73 yards on 21 carries. Allen had just four catches for 12 yards, but teams now have to focus on him as a receiver out of the backfield. Grade: A-

Advertisement

Offensive line: The Ravens punished Oakland up front and did a good job of finishing off blocks. Right tackle Austin Howard, a former Raider, turned in his best game of the season and center Ryan Jensen was physical at the point of attack. The Ravens protected Flacco well not giving up a sack against one of the better pass rushing units in the NFL. Grade: A-

Receivers: The Ravens finally put the deep ball into play. Mike Wallace had three catches for 133 yards and Jeremy Maclin worked the intermediate routes well with six catches for 43 yards. Third-year player Breshad Perriman came up with a big catch for a first down in the fourth quarter and was targeted three times. Grade: B+

After pouncing on a Raiders team that seemed to quit, the Ravens head into the next stretch of games in a position to make more headway.

Defensive line: The Ravens worked a lot of players through the rotation and may have to stay with the plan because of injuries. This group got off to a slow start because it couldn't get off blocks but the Ravens started dominating in the second half. Tackle Michael Pierce played a strong three quarters and end Willie Henry had five tackles and knocked down two passes. Grade: B

Linebackers: C.J. Mosley led the team in tackles with seven. The Ravens were more solid in holding the edge but still have to become more consistent. Outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith and Matthew Judon each had four tackles, as did Terrell Suggs, who had a sack. Weakside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor makes mistakes but is always around the ball and forced a turnover. Grade: B

Joe Flacco ends a streak of 10 games with an interception; offensive line plays strong game.

Secondary: The Raiders have a talented group of receivers but they aren't the same without quarterback Derek Carr. Rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey learned a few things in trying to hold down Michael Crabtree, but he shows a lot of promise. Safeties Tony Jefferson and Anthony Levine Sr. each had a sack. Safety Eric Weddle needs to tighten up his tackling. Grade: B+

Special teams: Justin Tucker converted on field goals of 21, 21 and 44 yards. He did a nice job of keeping the ball away from Raiders kickoff specialist Cordarrelle Patterson. An emphasis this week was cutting down on the number of penalties and the Ravens achieved the goal. Punter Sam Koch needs to pick up his game. Grade: B

Coaching: After two weeks of playing with little energy the Ravens played with good intensity. Offensively, they did some new things and attacked the Raiders down field. On defense they came up with some new looks to get pressure on the quarterback including bringing both safeties off the edge. Grade: B+

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement