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Mike Preston's Report Card

Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 13-3 win over Panthers | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 13-3 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Week 11 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson didn’t get any help from his receivers, who dropped five passes, but he held onto the ball too long in the pocket and has to do a better job of hitting receivers in stride. He completed 24 of 33 passes for 209 yards and an interception and was sacked three times. Jackson was also ineffective running off the edge, finishing with only 31 yards on 11 carries. Grade: D+

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Running backs

If Jackson struggles, so does this running game. Kenyan Drake (10 carries for 46 yards) couldn’t get out on the perimeter, and one of the Ravens’ best running plays was the draw to Justice Hill, who had enough speed to bounce outside for 11 yards. Hill had 30 yards on seven carries. Grade: C

Offensive line

Tackles Morgan Moses and Ronnie Stanley dominated the past three games but neither could block down or reach the outside to get runners to the perimeter. The Ravens should have tried more running plays up the middle behind guards Kevin Zeitler and Ben Powers, but they seemed determined to get around the edge. The ankle injury to Stanley will hurt regardless of how much time he misses. Carolina finished with three sacks. Grade: D+

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Receivers

The Panthers were without a few starters in the secondary, so the Ravens took advantage of cornerback C.J. Henderson, who gave wide receiver Demarcus Robinson a lot of cushion on the outside. Robinson had nine catches for 128 yards, including one reception for 31 yards. Jackson spread the ball around in the Ravens’ last game against New Orleans with Mark Andrews sidelined, but with the All-Pro tight end back in the lineup he remained Jackson’s go-to receiver. Andrews had six catches for 63 yards. Grade: C+

Defensive line

Carolina came into the game with the No. 16 ranked rushing offense, averaging 118 yards per game, but had only 36 yards Sunday. Veteran lineman Calais Campbell had only two tackles, including a sack, but he hit quarterback Baker Mayfield twice. Rookie nose tackle Travis Jones is hard to move inside and has played well as his conditioning has improved. The Ravens pushed Mayfield off his mark in the pocket for most of the fourth quarter in a game they dominated from the opening whistle. Grade: A

Linebackers

The Panthers played into the strength of this group. Carolina was committed to the run, and inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen are fast and love to go downhill. Because Carolina didn’t want to throw, the Ravens ran a lot of run blitzes and clogged gaps on first and second down. Queen was outstanding with 12 total tackles, and Smith finished with seven. The Ravens compiled four sacks, including one each from Smith and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and a half-sack from outside linebacker Justin Houston and Queen. Grade: A

Ravens running back Kenyan Drake reacts after running for a first down but short of the goal line in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Secondary

The Ravens knew they weren’t going to be challenged by Carolina’s receivers, except possibly former Maryland star DJ Moore, but at times he didn’t seem interested. When the Panthers decided they had to throw in the fourth quarter, cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey sat on the routes, resulting in an interception by Humphrey. Peters also stripped the ball from receiver Shi Smith, which led to the Ravens’ only touchdown midway through the fourth. Peters finished with five tackles, while Humphrey added two and recovered a fumble. It was not a good day for Chuck Clark, who struggled to tackle, and fellow safety Geno Stone. Grade: A-

Special teams

Justin Tucker converted on field goal attempts of 32 and 37 yards despite swirling winds. Rookie punter Jordan Stout had seven punts for an average of 35.9, but he dropped four inside the 20. He also had a beauty for 52 yards. The Ravens, though, had three penalties on special teams and Tucker had a short kickoff to open the third quarter. Grade: B-

Coaching

Coach John Harbaugh won two challenges and also made a smart decision by not going for it on fourth-and-3 at Carolina’s 45-yard line to open the second quarter. Defensively, coordinator Mike Macdonald called a good game, but the Panthers’ offense was extremely one-dimensional. Offensively, the Ravens had no rhythm with their running game or the play calling. Everything looked out of sync. Expectations were higher against a Carolina defense that ranked 30th in the NFL entering the game. Grade: B


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