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Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 34-31 overtime win over Vikings | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday’s 34-31 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 34-31 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson carried the Ravens’ offense, mostly on running plays. But he was erratic throughout the game and could have easily thrown three or four interceptions. He ended up with two, including one in overtime, and took some sacks he could have avoided. Jackson got better in the second, finishing with 266 passing yards and three touchdowns as well as120 rushing yards, but he can’t afford to play like this against quality teams. His performance has dropped off in the past two games. Grade: C-

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Receivers

This group struggled as much as Jackson early in the first half but came up with big catches at crucial times, especially rookie Rashod Bateman and second-year wideout Devin Duvernay. Duvernay had the catch of the game with a game-tying, one-handed touchdown grab on second-and-goal with 9:19 left. Tight end Mark Andrews dropped a touchdown pass in the first half but finished with five catches for 44 yards. Marquise Brown was superb throughout the game with nine catches for a game-high 116 yards. This group is young and hungry and wants to ease any talk of former Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. coming to Baltimore. Grade: A-

Running backs

This group is basically here to keep the opposing defenses honest because they aren’t much of a threat, but they pounded the Vikings in the second half. Devonta Freeman rushed 13 times for 79 yards and Le’Veon Bell had 11 carries for 48 yards. Fullback Patrick Ricard might have been the offensive player of the game with three catches for 35 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-goal in the third quarter. He also had another strong game as a blocker. Grade: C+

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Offensive line

Jackson makes this group so much better. If you want to see how unathletic this line is, just look at the screen pass to Freeman the Ravens ran in the first half. Not one lineman was engaged with a defender downfield. But in the second half, the Ravens started mowing the Vikings down with their run blocking. Pass blocking is still a problem for this group, but it’s been that way for three years. What else is new? Minnesota had three sacks despite missing top pass rusher Danielle Hunter. Grade: C

Defensive line

The Ravens got pushed around for most of the first quarter and allowed 102 rushing yards in the first half. But this group calmed down in the second half as Minnesota finished with 131 rushing yards. Calais Campbell (three tackles) was dominant again and fellow tackle Justin Madubuike also had three tackles and one hit on the quarterback. The Ravens seemed to adjust at halftime and the Vikings did nothing. Grade: C

Linebackers

Inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Patrick Queen were wiped out in the first 20 minutes but dominated from that point on. Bynes was strong in pass coverage but was even tougher in short-yardage situations. He finished with 11 tackles, including eight solo. Queen, often criticized this season for his lackluster play and missed tackles, made several big plays in the second half that helped turn the tide. The second-year linebacker finished with four tackles, including one for a loss. The Ravens also got occasional pressure from outside linebacker Tyus Bowser, who finished with five tackles. Grade: C

Secondary

Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson easily beat cornerback Marlon Humphrey for a 50-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, but for some strange reason, Minnesota never went after Humphrey again with the long ball. Did they not see the Bengals get several big plays against him two weeks ago? In the second half, the Ravens settled down and were able to get pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins on blitzes from safeties Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott and nickel back Tavon Young. The Ravens still need support from their safeties in the deep third of the field in pass coverage. To make matters worse, Elliott tore his biceps and pectoral muscle and is likely out for the season. Grade: C-

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Special teams

The Ravens gave up a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Kene Nwangwu to open the second half and then allowed a first down on a fake punt. Special teams are supposed to impact games, but not as negatively as the Ravens’ did Sunday. Baltimore’s special teams have been outstanding this season, but that wasn’t the case against the Vikings. At least Justin Tucker bailed the group out with a game-winning 36-yard field goal in overtime. Grade: C

Coaching

The Ravens clearly outcoached the Vikings, who made no adjustments when they went into halftime with a 17-10 lead. The Ravens tightened up, took away Minnesota’s running game and pounded away in the second half. The quality teams adjust after falling behind, while the Vikings were content to have a lead. Ravens coach John Harbaugh and his staff outperformed Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer and Co. Grade: B

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