Mike Preston's Report Card

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 38-6 win over Browns

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 38-6 season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.


Lamar Jackson picked up where he left off last season when he was the league’s Most Valuable Player. He had a case of nervous feet early in the game but settled down and took control. He picked the Browns apart every way imaginable, and the seven-play, 69-yard drive at the end of the first half was excellent. Jackson finished with a passer rating 152.1. Grade: A


Running backs

It appears it is only a matter of time before rookie J.K. Dobbins becomes the starting running back. He gives the Ravens the dimension they lacked last season as a runner who can get to the perimeter quickly. It’s early in the season, so there will be enough carries for Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards as well. The Ravens' running game Sunday wasn’t as dynamic as it was last season, but it was still effective. Grade: C+

Offensive line

Tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr dominated. Stanley missed most of the second half with an ankle injury, but veteran D.J. Fluker, signed this offseason, played surprisingly well in his absence. The Ravens struggled inside, especially center Matt Skura, who hadn’t played since suffering a season-ending knee injury in October. Rookie right guard Tyre Phillips also struggled, but that was to be expected, especially without any preseason games. Grade: B



Second-year player Marquise Brown was dominant throughout the game. It’s hard to handle him with his speed on underneath patterns across the middle. Tight end Mark Andrews makes Jackson look good on some of his poor throws, and he had two touchdown catches. Overall, it was good to see the Ravens get a lot of the receivers involved in the offense, including Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin. Grade: A

Defensive line

End Calais Campbell was dominant from the opening series. Nose tackle Brandon Williams had a slow start, but so did the rest of the defense as the Browns gashed the Ravens for big yards in the first half. The Ravens, though, still have to find a steady and consistent pass rush. The front seven didn’t get much pressure on quarterback Baker Mayfield. Grade: C+


Outside linebacker Matthew Judon played well and made several hustle plays but still needs to limit his late hits on the quarterback. It has cost this team in the past and will again in the future unless he learns. Fellow outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was lethargic and played as if his legs were tired. Fourth-year pro Tyus Bowser had a strong game. Rookie inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison played reasonably well, even though they got fooled on some running plays in the first half. Grade: B


Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale will probably spend a lot of time working on technique and talking to his players about what constitutes holding and pass interference. The Ravens played well on the outside but had problems with receiver Jarvis Landry across the middle. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Tavon Young were penalized several times. Safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott were physical. The Ravens got a break because Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a no-show. Grade: B+

Special teams

Punter Sam Koch is 38 years old but remains one of the most reliable and consistent performers on the team. Same goes for kicker Justin Tucker, who converted on a 41-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter. Koch averaged 41.3 yards a punt. Rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche II look as if they will be good return specialists, especially Duvernay, who runs straight and has good acceleration. Duvernay averaged 32 yards on two kickoff returns, and Proche, after failing to field one punt, returned two for 26 yards. Cleveland got virtually nothing in its return game. Grade: A


For the first game of the season after an unprecedented training camp, the Ravens were sharp. They did virtually anything they wanted on offense, and the defense played well in the second half after a few mishaps in the first. Coach John Harbaugh had his team focused and ready to go, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman called a good game. Grade: A