Ravens Grades: Evaluating the Cowboys game

Take a look at how each position was graded following Baltimore's 31-29 win over Dallas.

Quarterback: B-plus

I almost feel this rating is too low considering Flacco only had three true drives in the second half, with two beginning on the Ravens 8 and ending in three-and-outs. But Flacco made the most of Baltimore's 19:57 of time of possession. He went 17-26 for 234 yards and a touchdown. Mistakes were limited and he was able to lead the offense for three touchdowns.

Running back: A-minus

We all know what Ray Rice was able to do, recording his 37th career game with over 100 total yards (63 rushing, 43 receiving, two touchdowns). But how about Bernard Pierce? On four carries, he average 5.3 yards per rush. Pierce has a lot of upside moving forward and has been impressive when he's had to come in and spell Rice. 

Wide receiver: B-plus

The drops disappeared this week and Anquan Boldin had another solid outing, recording five catches for 98 yards on six targets. The one catch he didn't come up with he nearly had while diving for it. Torrey Smith came down with a jump ball for a touchdown, though he might've gotten away with pass interference. 

Tight end: B

Dennis Pitta had 33 yards on four catches, while Ed Dickson hauled in one pass for eight yards. Dickson's becoming a force run blocking, which has helped Ray Rice out a lot. Pitta has cooled off a bit after impressing in the first three weeks, though he still figures to be a factor moving forward. 

Offensive line: B-plus

The line only gave up one sack and it came when Bobbie Williams got knocked back into Michael Oher, which freed up DeMarcus Ware on what seemed like an improvised stunt. Other than that one play which wasn't his fault, Oher had a outstanding game protecting Flacco. Though he didn't have to block Anthony Spencer, who was out with a shoulder injury, Osemele also stepped up and had a good game. After two struggling weeks, the tackles put in a good performance against a great pass rushing team. 

Defensive line: D

If it wasn't for Haloti Ngata recording a sack, this unit would get an F. Dallas won most of the one-on-one battles and single blocked the defensive linemen for the most part. With Ngata hurt, he didn't command as much attention as he usually would. But still, Pernell McPhee, Arthur Jones, Terrence Cody and Ma'ake Kemoeatu were mostly going against one blocker each play and failed to get off of them. It's a glaring problem moving forward. 

Linebackers: D

The linebackers had a rough day as offensive linemen were able to get to the second level and block them, opening up lanes for DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones to rush through. The outside backers didn't do a good job setting the edge either as the outside runs were open long before the inside runs were. Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain both missed some tackles that didn't look good on film. 

Defensive backs: C-plus

Though Cary Williams gave up two touchdowns to Dez Bryant, Bryant did most of his work against Williams on short routes, only averaging seven yards per reception. The Ravens defensive backs did a good job of keeping the big passing play in front of them. However, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard missed some tackles in their own right. You have to wonder how the ribs injury is affecting Pollard right now as he hasn't been hitting like he normally does. 

Special teams: A-minus

Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return couldn't have been executed any better. It was set up beautifully with blocks from Corey Graham, Sean Considine and Anthony Allen. The lone mistake made was an onside kick going under Brendon Ayanbadejo's legs which could've been a disaster if Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey doesn't miss his 51-yard attempt. 

Coaching: B

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees did his best to mix up his calls. But blitzes never connected to the quarterback and defenders were single blocked. There's not much a coach can do if players can't win one-on-one battles. On offense, Cam Cameron offered some balance with 22 called runs and 27 called passes. In a twist of fate perhaps, John Harbaugh's decision not to ice Bailey paid off in a big way since he missed.

Total game score: 2.8 (B-minus)

---

Last week -- QB: B-minus, RB: A, WR: C, TE: C, OL: C-minus, DL: C, LB: C, DB: B, ST: A-minus, coaching: B. Total game score: 2.6 (B)

Year to date -- QB: 3.0, RB: 3.4, WR: 2.9, TE: 2.9, OL: 2.5, DL: 2.1, LB: 1.9, DB: 2.5, ST: 3.4, coaching: 3.0. Year to date score: 2.8 (C-minus)

Here's the scale -- A: 4.0, A-minus: 3.7, B-plus: 3.3, B: 3.0, B-minus: 2.7, C-plus: 2.3, C: 2.0, C-minus: 1.7, D: 1.0, F: 0.


Ravens Insider Top Stories