Advertisement

Mike Preston's report card after the Ravens' 27-24 overtime loss to the Chiefs

Columnist Mike Preston gives his position grades for the Ravens' game against the Chiefs. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Quarterback: Lamar Jackson was effective as a runner and had 71 yards on 13 carries. He also threw two touchdown passes, but his passing motion is poor and so are his mechanics. He has given the running game an added dimension but does little for the passing game, often throwing behind or low to receivers. He has trouble picking up blitzes, but so do a lot of rookies. Grade: C

Running backs: The Ravens were patient and consistent with the running attack, mostly using rookie Gus Edwards who had 67 yards on 16 carries. Kenneth Dixon, who runs with the same straightaway style as Edwards, had 59 yards on eight carries. Overall, the Ravens averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Grade: B+

Advertisement

Offensive line: This group is fine when the Ravens are running the ball. It’s not an overpowering group, but the individuals can maintain contact long enough for ball carriers to get through holes and into the second level. But when the Ravens have to pass a lot, these players will struggle, and they missed some calls in picking up blitzes Sunday. Grade: B-

Receivers: Jackson tried to get them more involved in the offense, especially early in the game, but the Ravens stayed with the run because the Chiefs struggled in run defense. Kansas City is worse in pass defense, but the Ravens don’t have much of a passing game except for slant-in patterns. Willie Snead IV caught some tough passes over the middle, and Michael Crabtree had three catches for 31 yards and John Brown caught two for 23. The tight ends weren’t major factors. Grade: C

Defensive line: The Chiefs had a tough time running the ball but were dominant at times. As the game went on, the Ravens got stronger, especially in the third quarter. Michael Pierce had six tackles, and fellow tackle Brandon Williams had five. End Brent Urban only had two tackles but got a lot of penetration. Grade: B-

Linebackers: This group had a spotty performance. The pass rush from outside linebackers Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon and Za’Darius Smith was strong and consistent. Judon, though, still does stupid things that will hurt this team in big games. The Ravens hit Mahomes 15 times, but the inside linebackers had little impact. They couldn’t cover across the middle, and a lot of their tackles were downfield as the Chiefs averaged 3.5 yards per run. C.J. Mosley had six tackles, but Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young combined for only three. Grade: C+

Secondary: The Chiefs have one of the better receiving groups in the league and the Ravens played well enough to win except at the end of the game, when they didn’t make plays. Starting cornerback Jimmy Smith played well despite injuring his shoulder in practice last week. He virtually played with one arm. Fellow cornerback Marlon Humphrey played well in the second half but was asleep in the first. Safeties Eric Weddle and Chuck Clark missed numerous tackles, which a team can’t afford to do when playing an opponent the caliber of Kansas City. Grade: C

Special teams: Cyrus Jones almost had the play of game with a 55-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Justin Tucker converted on a 28-yard field goal, and Sam Koch averaged 52.7 yards on three punts. The Ravens kept Tyreek Hill under control on punt returns with two for 13 yards. Grade: B

Coaching: The Ravens were aggressive defensively against Kansas City and stayed with the theme for the entire game, even though they did get burned several times. Offensively, the Ravens stayed with the running game,  but the pass play on second-and-eight from the Kansas City 45 in overtime was a poor decision. The Ravens played hard, stuck to their games plans and executed, but still need to reduce the number of penalties They had 11 for minus-112 yards. Grade: B-

Advertisement
Advertisement