xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 31-15 win over Browns

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday’s 31-15 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson started the game slowly, and as he goes, so goes the offense. Jackson got hot at the end of the second quarter, when the Ravens scored two touchdowns in 78 seconds. He’s been much more accurate this season, but he fumbled twice Sunday. Jackson was the Ravens’ biggest weapon, but mostly when plays broke down and he had to scramble. He rushed for 103 yards and passed for 238 and had a passer rating of 120.1. Grade: B

Running backs

Mark Ingram II started strong, but sometimes the Ravens take him out of the game by throwing the ball. He never seemed to get into a rhythm. Gus Edwards ran hard as his replacement, and the Ravens should use him earlier in games. Edwards rushed 12 times for 66 yards and finished off the Browns once Ingram got hurt in the second half. Rookie Justice Hill got some playing time and did some damage as a third-down back. He caught three passes for 32 yards and also had an 18-yard touchdown run, his first of the season. Grade: B

Advertisement

Offensive line

Tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. had trouble with Cleveland’s speed rushers in the first half, as both got beat around the corner several times. But the Ravens did well on combination blocks inside the tackles, and guards Bradley Bozeman and Marshal Yanda pulled well and got into the second level on counter plays. The Ravens pretty much owned the Browns in the second half with several long drives. Grade: B

Receivers

Tight end Mark Andrews had six catches for 93 yards, including touchdown receptions of 39 and 14 yards. Jackson was comfortable throwing to his backs, as Hill and Ingram combined for five catches and Edwards had one for 7 yards. Tight end Nick Boyle had three catches for 24 yards, but the Ravens were comfortable with safe passes over the middle. A week ago, they took advantage of the long ball against the New York Jets, but that wasn’t necessary against the woeful Browns, who seemed to forget how to chuck or hold up tight ends at the line of scrimmage. Grade: C

Defensive line

Cleveland ran well against the Ravens in Week 4, but had only 49 yards on 20 carries Sunday. Browns running back Nick Chubb had an occasional decent run up the gut, but was held in check most of the time by tackles Brandon Williams (three tackles), Michael Pierce (three) and end Chris Wormley (four). End/outside linebacker Matthew Judon also held the edge well after struggling in the first quarter. This was one of the few times in the past three weeks that the Ravens stopped a team from running off tackle. Grade: B+

Linebackers

Chubb ran well against the Ravens earlier this season, so the Browns were expected to stick with the run to keep the Ravens in their base defense. Think again. The Browns often went with three and four receivers, and at times had an empty backfield. The Ravens didn’t mind because they have several defensive backs, like Marlon Humphrey and Chuck Clark, who can double as inside linebackers. Judon finished with five tackles to lead the team while inside linebackers Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes combined for three. The inside guys flowed well to help shut down Chubb, especially on the outside. Grade: B

Secondary

Humphrey played well as usual and finished with four tackles. He also intercepted one pass and knocked down another. Fellow cornerback Marcus Peters played well, but not up to his standards. The Browns successfully picked on cornerback Jimmy Smith, who was called several times for penalties that prolonged drives. When Clark isn’t on the backend, the Ravens struggle getting help from safeties against long passes. The Ravens have a lot of talent in the secondary, but the players lose concentration at times. The Ravens are strong in one-on-one coverage, but they need to improve their tackling. Grade: C

Special teams

When the offense was struggling in the first half, Sam Koch was winning the field-position battle for the Ravens. He had two punts for an average of 51 yards, including a long of 60. The other landed inside the Browns’ 20-yard line. Justin Tucker converted on a 31-yard field goal, his only attempt of the game. The Ravens still have to get more out of their return game, especially on punts. The Ravens returned two punts for 7 yards, but they did average 20.7 on three kickoff returns. Grade: B

Coaching

The Ravens came out slow, which was unusual for this team, but showed composure by rallying in the last two minutes of the first half. The Ravens dominated in the second half, and that’s a good sign heading into the postseason. Defensively, the Ravens need to turn it up another notch for the playoffs, and they have to get something from the return game on special teams. Grade: B

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement