Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston grades the Ravens' season-ending loss to the Bengals

Quarterback: Most teams aren't going to win when they throw nearly 50 times a game, and the Ravens are no exception. Flacco completed 32 of 49 passes for 267 yards but he had a QB rating of only 70.7. His one interception halted a possible scoring drive and he wasn't in sync with his outside receivers most of the game. Flacco spent most of the game playing catch with tight end Dennis Pitta, and the Bengals were more than happy to allow that to happen. Flacco still has to become more consistent on his short- to mid-range passes. Grade: C

Offensive line: The Ravens should have stuck with the running game, particularly going behind left tackle Ronnie Stanley and left guard Marshal Yanda. Pass protection was poor up the middle, and both center Jeremy Zuttah and right guard Vladimir Ducasse might have played their last game for the Ravens. Right tackle James Hurst turned in a decent performance for Hurst, but he had trouble early in the game. Grade: C-


Running backs: Kenneth Dixon and Terreance West run hard, but the Ravens don't show interest in establishing a running game, even though they have two bruisers who can power inside. Dixon had 44 yards on 10 carries, and West had 18 yards on five. But it was clear from the start the Ravens wanted Flacco throwing the ball all over the field. The Ravens are wasting the talents of two good backs. Grade: B

Receivers: Pitta must have the same agent as Flacco. He is a good possession receiver but not a home run hitter on crossing routs like either Mike Wallace or Breshad Perriman. The Ravens seem to panic whenever a team plays them in Cover 2. Pitta had 11 catches for 91 yards and Wallace, Perriman and West each had four. Perriman is only a vertical threat who gets open on go routes, slants and crossing patterns. He might hurt himself running a comeback rout. Grade: C


Defensive line: The Ravens are getting solid play from nose tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, but very little support from ends Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy. Jernigan had one tackle, his first in four games. Guy also had only one, while Williams and Pierce combined for 10. The Bengals rushed for 153 yards, and by the fourth quarter the Ravens were getting very little push up front. This group faded down the final stretch of the season. Grade: D

Linebackers: The Ravens missed inside linebacker Zachary Orr, who sat out because of a neck injury. Maybe that's part of the reason the Bengals were able to run inside. C.J. Mosley finished as the Ravens leading tackler with 12, but he got little help from the weak side. Elvis Dumervil had the team's only sack; the Ravens didn't get a lot of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton. Patrick Onwuasor had six tackles but he had problems getting off blocks. Bengals running back Rex Burkhead had some jump cuts inside the tackles which hurt the Ravens. Grade: D-

Secondary: The Ravens cornerbacks gave the Bengals receivers too much room, and they also came up slow as far as tackling, especially on the quick screens to outside receivers. Safeties Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb were both physical, but they couldn't handle the constant pounding from the Bengals offense. The Ravens improved in the second half, but by then it was too late. Game over. Grade: D-

Special teams: Michael Campanaro averaged 12.7 yards on three punt returns and he at least attacked the ball instead of being hesitant like former starter Devin Hester. Sam Koch averaged 43.8 yards on four punts, including a long of 68 yards. Justin Tucker converted on his only field goal attempt. Grade: C+

Coaching: The Ravens weren't ready to play. Regardless of what happened last week, it's the job of the coaching staff to get the team ready to play. The Ravens looked as flat as Ohio State against Clemson on Saturday night. The Ravens didn't know how to handle the Bengals' pass coverage or their offense. Grade: F