Mike Preston

Mike Preston's report card after the Ravens' 24-16 loss to the Vikings

Minneapolis — Quarterback: Joe Flacco looks beaten and battered these days, both mentally and physically. He completed just 27 of 39 passes but had to stay with the short stuff because he had no time to throw. Flacco was sacked five times. He finished with a quarterback rating of 88.2 and was the team's best player on offense. He had no weapons and no time to throw, but that still was no excuse for him to be tripping over his own feet or fumbling an exchange. Grade: C-

Running backs: The Ravens had no serious running game Sunday. They finished with 64 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Alex Collins had 30 yards on 10 carries but the Vikings did a nice job of cutting him off before he got to the edge. Buck Allen is the team's third-down specialist but didn't win many battles with the Vikings linebackers in one-on-one situations. Grade: C-


Receivers: The Ravens were no match for the Vikings on the outside. Even when they got someone in one-on-one coverage Flacco showed little confidence that they could win the matchups. Third-year receiver Chris Moore improved from a week ago and tight end Benjamin Watson was a factor in the short passing game. But the Ravens failed to stretch Minnesota's defense and the Vikings came up with some hard tackles on short passes. Grade: D

Offensive line: The Ravens had no running game and Flacco was sacked five times. Minnesota defensive linemen were too fast on the outside for offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Austin Howard. The Ravens were also overmatched inside, especially center Ryan Jensen trying to block tackle Linval Joseph. Also, Jensen can't be fighting the Vikings at the end of the game when the Ravens are in a hurry-up offense. Grade: D


Defensive line: Nose tackle Brandon Williams returned and his presence made a difference in the run defense, but the Vikings double-teamed him a lot. Williams got very little help from fellow tackle Michael Pierce and even less from ends Chris Wormley, Carl Davis and Bronson Kaufusi. Williams finished with five tackles, one knocked down pass and one quarterback hurry. The supporting cast wasn't so supporting as Minnesota rushed for 169 yards. Grade: D

Linebackers: C.J. Mosley had nine tackles to lead the Ravens, but most of those were four or five yards off the line of scrimmage. He doesn't shed blockers well. Patrick Onwuasor had six tackles but is inconsistent. Terrell Suggs had five tackles but doesn't get much backup support when he crashes down inside. The Vikings had 357 yards of total offense with Case Keenum as quarterback. Grade: C-

Secondary: The Ravens can play on the corner with Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr. But the safety play has been average at best. Neither of the two safeties, Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle, has tackled well this season, and No. 3 safety Lardarius Webb has become a liability in pass coverage. The Ravens have spent a lot of money on pass coverage during the past two years. They have improved but not where they invested the big money. Grade: C

Special teams: Justin Tucker connected on field goals of 48, 57 and 47 yards. The one he hit from 57 could have been good from 65. Bobby Rainey averaged 24.8 yards on four kickoff returns, including one of 31 yards. The Ravens struggled on punt coverage as Minnesota averaged 27.7 yards on three returns. Grade: C+

Coaching: The Ravens were outmanned and outgunned, but they could have done some things to help Flacco, like roll him out of the pocket instead of allowing him to become a stationary target. Do the Ravens have a draw play to slow the pass rush? Tight ends are starting to hurt this team every week. Defensively, coordinator Dean Pees tried to put numbers up on the line of scrimmage, but the Ravens couldn't get off blocks. Grade: D

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