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Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens' 33-16 win over Texans | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday’s 33-16 win over the Texans.

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 33-16 win over the host Houston Texans on Sunday in Week 2.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson performed well under duress, but this wasn’t one of his most dominant efforts. There were times he was too excited to run, and he became more of a threat as a running back than a quarterback in the first half. Overall, though, he was effective, especially throwing the ball over the middle. Jackson completed a high percentage of his passes through the first three quarters despite being constantly harassed by Houston’s pass rush. There were times when he made something out of nothing. He keeps constant pressure on a defense. Grade: A

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Offensive line

This group couldn’t find any rhythm in the first half. The Ravens will struggle in pass protection because they have emphasized run blockers, and it showed against Houston. Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. had slow feet and got into trouble trying to hold the Texans off the edge. Rookie right guard Tyre Phillips started off strong but was physically dominated in the middle of the game. The Ravens performed better in the second half, especially with a long, methodical drive to open the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, Houston didn’t want to play. Grade: C+

Receivers

The Ravens got input from just about everyone in this group and they worked the middle of the field well. If Jackson is given time, it’s almost impossible to run with speedy players such as Marquise Brown and Devin Duvernay on crossing routes. When Duvernay and Brown are on the outside with tight end Mark Andrews and receiver Willie Snead IV, the Ravens are exceptional in the middle of the field. Grade: A

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Running backs

What took the Ravens so long to work Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins into a rotation with starter Mark Ingram II? When that happened, the running game started to flow in the second half. Those three guys can wear down opponents, and the Texans didn’t have enough energy to cope with them in the second half. The rotation works well, but Edwards and Dobbins might be needed sooner during games. Edwards was a tough runner in the second half. Grade: B

Defensive line

The Ravens stifled Houston’s running game in the first half and that set the tone for the rest of the game. The front three of Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe got good penetration to shut down most of the runs and collapsed the pocket several times in the second half to put pressure on quarterback Deshaun Watson. This group has only played two games together, but it keeps getting better. Grade: B

Linebackers

When you watch inside linebackers Malik Harrison and Patrick Queen play, you understand why the Ravens drafted them. Both showed excellent speed in pursuing Watson, and Harrison was a good spy at times during passing situations. Outside linebackers Pernell McPhee and Matthew Judon kept constant pressure on Watson, and L.J. Fort returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. Grade: B+

Secondary

Once the Ravens stopped Houston’s running game in the first half, the game was over. The Texans receivers couldn’t play with the Ravens' top cornerbacks: Marcus Peters, who made his first interception of the season, and Marlon Humphrey, who forced a fumble that led to a scoop-and-score. Those two smothered Houston’s passing game, but the Ravens still allowed too many passes over the middle to tight ends. Houston also picked on cornerback Anthony Averett. Grade: A-

Special teams

Justin Tucker converted on field-goal attempts of 32, 39, 47 and 20 yards. On kickoffs, opposing teams might as well just take possession at the 25-yard line because Tucker always kicks the ball out of the end zone. The Ravens didn’t give up any big returns, and their rookie returners — Duvernay and James Proche II — were solid. Grade: A

Coaching

The Ravens played well in their first road game of the year. They came out a little slow but quickly started to control the tempo. The Ravens made second-half adjustments in the running game, and the defense was let loose because Houston had to come from behind. Grade: A

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