Mike Preston's Report Card

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 17-3 divisional-round loss to the Bills | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 17-3 loss to the host Buffalo Bills on Saturday night in the AFC divisional round:


Lamar Jackson, who left in the fourth quarter with a concussion, played his worst game since returning from the team’s COVID-19 outbreak. He threw a pick-six in the third quarter and held the ball too long on several occasions. Jackson lost his composure and started throwing off his back foot even when he wasn’t pressure. Despite the poor performance, Jackson was basically the only offensive weapon. Grade: D


Running backs

Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins ran hard but there were few holes. Buffalo got a lot of penetration on running plays and that slowed both backs before they could get to the line of scrimmage. Fullback Patrick Ricard is a good lead blocker on running plays, but he struggles pass blocking and had trouble coordinating with the offensive line. Grade: C

Offensive line

The Ravens pass protection was poor most of the night, especially on the right side with guard Tyre Phillips and tackle D.J. Fluker. The Bills got a lot of pressure with their four- and five-man fronts. Center Patrick Mekari had trouble with a couple of snaps in the shotgun formation and the Ravens were called for several penalties. Grade: F



The receivers have been criticized a lot this year, but part of the problem is the offense. In the second half, wide receivers Willie Snead IV and Marquise Brown and tight end Andrews ran the short routes to perfection, but there wasn’t a lot of time for Jackson to throw downfield and allow long passes to develop. All the receivers ran hard and picked up yards after the catch. Grade: C

Defensive line

Buffalo couldn’t run the ball, so the Ravens were not challenged in defending the run, but they failed to get consistent pressure on Bills quarterback Josh Allen. The Ravens signed Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell to stop the run, which they did, but they have to find more pass rushers. They traded for Yannick Ngakoue to get more pressure, but he was a disappointment. Outside linebacker/end Matthew Judon was the team’s best pass rusher. Grade: C


The Ravens played well in the first half, and they did a nice job of clogging the lanes and taking away the Bills’ short passing game. But in the second half, Buffalo did a nice job of dinking and dunking on the perimeter, and outside linebackers Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser were blocked on the edge. Middle linebacker Patrick Queen got lost in pass coverage most of the second half, and that has been a problem all season. Grade: D


The Ravens were playing one of the best passing offenses in the NFL and did well to prevent big plays, but the Bills took advantage of the cushions provided by cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. The Bills used a lot of short hitches and quick outs and used them like running plays. Peters and Humphrey got away with a lot of holding and mugged Buffalo receivers downfield. Grade: C

Special teams

Justin Tucker missed back-to-back field-goal attempts of 41 and 46 yards to start the game. Punter Sam Koch also struggled with short kicks, including a couple of line drives. To complete the miserable performance, linebacker Malik Harrison roughed the punter late in the game, which sealed the win for Buffalo. Grade: F


The Ravens had too many penalties, and coach John Harbaugh using two timeouts in the first eight minutes was a sign of things to come. The Bills made some good adjustments at halftime to take advantage of the Ravens defense and the Ravens offense was never in sync. Maybe the Ravens were still hungover from their win in Tennessee last week. Grade: F