Mike Preston

Mike Preston's report card after the Ravens' 47-3 win over the Bills

Quarterback: Joe Flacco finished with a rating of 121.7 and it doesn’t get much better than that. Flacco completed passes to every area of the field and consistently exploited the Bills over the middle. More importantly, he moved well and avoided the rush several times when pressured. He answered all questions about being fully recovered from a back injury a year ago. Grade: A

Running backs: This group was effective and complemented the passing game. The Ravens’ main objective was to throw and the passing game opened up running lanes. Backup Kenneth Dixon led the team in rushing with 44 yards on 13 carries and the Ravens finished with a total of 117 on 34. This group also did a good job of protecting Flacco when he dropped back to pass. Alex Collins ran hard and the second effort is appreciated, but sometimes he has to learn to go down and fight again on the next play. Grade: B


Offensive line: Buffalo had one of the worst pass-rushing defenses in the NFL last season and the Bills seldom got pressure on Flacco. The Ravens dominated up front and could have run anywhere they wanted in the game. Buffalo did get some pressure with right defensive end Jerry Hughes against left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Grade: A-

Receivers: The receivers did a good job of working behind Buffalo’s aggressive linebackers and finding holes in front of the safeties and cornerbacks. Michael Crabtree and John Brown took advantage of the Bills’ big cushion from their cornerbacks. Tight ends Mark Andrews, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle made the Bills pay with catches over the middle off play action. Grade: A


Defensive line: The Bills rushed 22 times for 83 yards, and rookie quarterback Josh Allen had 26 of those on four rushing attempts. Tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce and end Brent Urban were dominant inside, and backup Chris Wormley had a strong presence in the second half. Grade: A

Linebackers: C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith each had five tackles and Smith had two for losses including one sack. He also knocked down one pass and had one quarterback hurry. Terrell Suggs was constantly harassing the Buffalo quarterbacks and besides the team’s six sacks, Ravens linebackers hit Buffalo quarterbacks Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen four times. Grade: A

Secondary: Cornerback Tavon Young, who plays over the slot, blitzed a lot in training camp practices and preseason games. He had two sacks Sunday. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr smothered Buffalo receivers, and Carr and safety Tony Jefferson each had an interception. Grade: A

Special teams: Justin Tucker converted on field goals of 41 and 39 yards and punter Sam Koch had an average of 51.4 yards on five punts with a net average of 47.6. He also landed three inside the 20-yard line. Receiver Janarion Grant returned a punt 51 yards but later fumbled another one. He has sudden change ability but it’s yet to be determined which way he might change the game until he starts handling the ball consistently. Grade: B+

Coaching: Unlike the Bills, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had his team ready to play from the opening whistle. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg developed a good game plan and stayed with it but got too enamored with his own trick plays. He needed to save some of that stuff. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale was aggressive throughout the game and shut down Buffalo’s running game. Grade: A