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Mike Preston's Report Card

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 28-27 loss to Jaguars | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 28-27 loss to the Jaguars in Sunday’s Week 12 matchup at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson’s consistency has been as a runner. His play as a passer is unpredictable. He overthrew potential touchdown passes to Demarcus Robinson and Josh Oliver, and his slow start in the first half was a major reason the Ravens had to settle for three field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. Jackson ran for 89 yards on 14 carries, and the 62-yard pass to DeSean Jackson late in the game was a beauty. Grade: C+

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Running backs

I understand that the Ravens are trying to elevate Jackson’s game heading toward the postseason, but their running game needs to be more consistent. Gus Edwards had 52 yards on 16 carries, but he surprisingly disappeared at times, especially in short-yardage situations. The Ravens didn’t get much from backups Kenyan Drake or Justice Hill either, but fullback Patrick Ricard had an outstanding game blocking after struggling against the Panthers. Edwards’ fumble in the fourth quarter was costly, and that’s an area where coach John Harbaugh has little patience. Grade: C-

Offensive line

This group is stuck in limbo like the rest of the offense. The run blocking and pass protection have been spotty, and these guys can’t find a rhythm. Their forte is supposed to be run blocking. They are solid in the middle with guards Ben Powers and Kevin Zeitler, and Morgan Moses pulls well for a tackle. Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum has played well, but he is going to get into trouble because he holds a lot. Grade: C

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Receivers

Last week, the Ravens dropped six passes by my count, but I stopped during Sunday’s game because I forgot my calculator. Some of these weren’t hard catches. Jackson is comfortable with a two-tight end look and the Ravens might need to use that more as a base with Mark Andrews, who caught four passes for 50 yards, and Josh Oliver, who added four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Aside from DeSean Jackson’s reception late in the game, it’s going to be hard to build a passing offense with receivers who can’t catch. Grade: D+

Defensive line

This group played well for most of the game, even in crunch time. Reserve tackle Broderick Washington doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but he had five tackles, including a sack. End Calais Campbell had three tackles and a sack, and he combined with end Justin Madubuike to help the Ravens hold Jacksonville to 38 yards rushing on 20 carries. They moved quarterback Trevor Lawrence a lot in the first and third quarters, but the Jaguars started getting rid of the ball quicker in the fourth. Grade: B+

Linebackers

Middle linebacker Roquan Smith led the Ravens in tackles with eight and fellow inside linebacker Patrick Queen had six, but they missed a lot of tackles in the open field, especially after short receptions. Queen had played well the previous two games, but he struggled Sunday. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had three tackles, including a sack, and he was a consistent force rushing the passer. He also held the edge well against the running game. Grade: C+

Secondary

It was only a matter of time before the weaknesses in the Ravens’ secondary were exposed, especially at cornerback. Opposing teams have singled out and attacked Marcus Peters since the loss to the Dolphins in Week 2 and Brandon Stephens is slow, rigid and a better fit at safety. Starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey played well in the slot, off the edge and near the line of scrimmage, finishing with six tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. Safety Marcus Williams, who is nearing a return after dislocating his wrist in Week 5, will help once he gets into playing shape, but he doesn’t play cornerback. Grade: D

Special teams

Justin Tucker converted on four of five field goals, including one from 55 yards, but his 67-yard attempt as time expired was a few yards short, though right down the middle. The Ravens should have turned some of those field goals into touchdowns, which seems to be a weekly problem. They also should give Devin Duvernay the green light to bring out kickoffs or punt returns because the offense is so erratic. Grade: A-

Coaching

Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will take a lot of blame for Jacksonville’s game-winning touchdown drive and 2-point conversion, but aside from Humphrey, the Ravens don’t have quality cornerbacks. Offensively, they were inconsistent in the red zone. Also, Harbaugh’s terrible decision in the first half to go for it (and fail) on a fourth-and-1 at midfield early in the second quarter eventually led to a Jacksonville touchdown. Grade: C


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