Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 34-6 win over Chargers | COMMENTARY

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Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 34-6 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 at M&T Bank Stadium:


Lamar Jackson finished with a passer rating of 68.0, but that’s very misleading. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 167 yards and only had 51 rushing yards, but he makes this offense go. Without him, the Ravens have no running game. Jackson threw two interceptions, but one caromed off rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman on a pass he should have caught. There were several other drops by his receivers. Jackson held onto the ball too long at times, but at least he was trying to make a play and didn’t force throws. On what some might consider an average day for most quarterbacks, Jackson still shines. Grade: B+


Running backs

The Ravens actually had a running game, and it worked without Jackson (eight carries for 51 yards) being the focus. The Ravens punished the Chargers with off-tackle runs from Latavius Murray (44 yards on nine carries) and Devonta Freeman (53 yards on nine carries). Both players showed the ability to bounce outside, which hasn’t been evident all season. Even veteran Le’Veon Bell contributed with a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Grade: A


Tight end Mark Andrews was the biggest weapon and had five catches for 68 yards. It was amazing that regardless of how much he hurt the Chargers, they allowed him to get off the line cleanly. The Ravens were successful nickel and diming Los Angeles down the field and Bateman, Devin Duvernay and Marquise Brown found creases in the defense on short to intermediate patterns. Grade: B+


Offensive line

The Chargers entered the game with the worst run defense in the league and the Ravens physically dominated them at the line of scrimmage. The Ravens consistently ran right off the edge behind tackle Patrick Mekari and guard Kevin Zeitler. This was one of the few games in which the Ravens were successful pulling backside linemen, especially on the left side with tackle Alejandro Villanueva and guard Ben Powers. Pass protection for the most part was excellent, especially in the first half. Grade: A


A week ago, this group got lit up by the Indianapolis Colts for 390 passing yards, but on Sunday the Ravens shut down one of the most talented passing groups in the NFL. The Chargers have big, fast receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but cornerbacks Anthony Averett and Marlon Humphrey shadowed them all over the field. Safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott might have played their best game of the year in tandem. Clark played the run and the pass well, but Elliott, who played for the first time since Week 3, was an enforcer after the Chargers made catches. Grade: A


Outside linebackers Tyus Bowser, Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh were successful in holding the edge, something they struggled with last week. There were times when they didn’t pressure the quarterback in passing situations but drew double-teams, which allowed defensive backs to pressure second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. Patrick Queen played well and under control despite suffering a thigh injury, and the Ravens also got a decent performance from fellow inside linebacker Josh Bynes, who had six tackles. This was by far the most impressive outing by this group in recent weeks. Grade: A

Defensive line

The Ravens were too athletic for the Chargers. Linemen Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell and Justin Madubuike were too quick and got penetration early, which allowed the Ravens to shut down Austin Ekeler and Los Angeles’ running game. Campbell finished with four tackles and Madubuike had two. Even when plays went to the other side of the field, the Ravens were relentless in pursuit. They ran down just about every Chargers screen. Grade: A

Special teams

Even on some short kickoffs, the Ravens covered well with some vicious tackles. Sam Koch averaged 43 yards on two punts, including a 53-yarder and another inside the Chargers’ 20-yard line. Justin Tucker converted two field-goal attempts, including one of 52 yards. Duvernay gets better every week returning punts and kickoffs, averaging 14.7 yards on three punt returns and 35 yards on two kickoff returns, including a 47-yard sprint to open the second half. Grade: A


The Ravens were fortunate enough to win last week despite sleepwalking against the Colts, but they dominated Los Angeles in every phase of the game. In fact, the Chargers were as sloppy and lethargic as the Ravens were a week ago against the Colts. Defensively, the Ravens confused and beat up the Chargers’ offense. Offensively, the Ravens stuck with the run for most of the game, except when they got a little pass-happy in the second quarter. Grade: A