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Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 38-3 win over Bengals | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday's 38-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 38-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 that clinched a playoff spot:

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson threw an interception on a tipped ball, had another pass knocked down and was a little erratic early in the game, but all the kinks were worked out by the start of the second quarter. When the pass protection broke down, Jackson kept plays alive by scrambling and finished with three touchdown passes. He also rushed 11 times for 97 yards to put him over 1,000 yards for the season. Grade: A

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Running backs

The Ravens ran wild against the Bengals. A lot of their yards in the first half came from tough second efforts by Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins, and they wore down Cincinnati in the second half. The Ravens had more than 350 rushing yards by the end of the third quarter. A lot of their long runs came on misdirection plays, which helped set up the play-action passing game. Edwards finished with 60 rushing yards and Dobbins had a season-high 160. Grade: A

Offensive line

The Ravens started Trystan Colon-Castillo at center a couple of weeks ago and then he disappeared from the game day roster despite playing well. The undrafted rookie started for injured center Patrick Mekari on Sunday and played well again. He had some good combination blocks with guards Bradley Bozeman and Ben Powers, which allowed the Ravens to scrape off and make blocks into the second level. The Ravens still struggled in pass protection, especially in the first half. Grade: A

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Receivers

Miles Boykin doesn’t get a lot of credit for his run blocking, but he is excellent on the outside keeping cornerbacks off Edwards and Dobbins. It seems likely that Marquise Brown is going to drop a pass every game, but he had five receptions for 41 yards. Tight end Mark Andrews appeared to have a quiet day with four catches for 27 yards. The Ravens ran free in the Bengals secondary whenever they needed a completion. Grade: A

Defensive line

The Ravens lacked depth going into the game, especially with end Yannick Ngakoue and tackles Broderick Washington and Justin Ellis inactive. But the Ravens dominated a Bengals offensive line that had success run blocking in its previous two games. All three of the Ravens’ starters — ends Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell and tackle Brandon Williams — were outstanding up front. The Bengals didn’t get a first down until there were four minutes left in the first half. Grade: A

Linebackers

If the defensive line is dominant up front, the linebackers will have strong games. Inside linebackers Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison combined for seven tackles. The Ravens were able to hold the edge on running plays and got some pressure from outside linebackers Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee, Matthew Judon and Jihad Ward, who doubled as a defensive end and outside linebacker. Grade: A

Secondary

The Ravens were never challenged by the Bengals’ five-and-dime passing game, which looked a lot like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ short passing attack. The Ravens were comfortable playing zone or man-to-man coverage, and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters sat on most of the Bengals’ passing routes. The Ravens had two interceptions, and safety Chuck Clark finished with four tackles. Grade: A

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Special teams

The Ravens were without injured punter Sam Koch, but it’s hard to miss him when the team wins by 35 points. Koch’s replacement, Johnny Townsend, punted twice and averaged 50 yards per kick. Justin Tucker converted on a 34-yard field-goal attempt early in the game. The Ravens had one dumb penalty on an illegal block in the back on a punt return. Grade: A

Coaching

The Ravens were mentally prepared and there was no letdown. They established and stuck with the game plan early and were able to rest some injured starters for next week’s playoff game. The Ravens quickly reminded the Bengals that it was time for them to go home and play a lot of golf in the offseason. Grade: A

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