Joe Flacco easily had his worst game of the season. He faced a lot of pressure throughout that he couldn't overcome. The offense was anemic at best, and the most telling stat was Flacco's average yards per completion being just 3.4 yards. It was a horrendous day and one he'll want to forget.
Running back: B-minus
Thing is, Ray Rice got off to a good start on the first offensive possession that resulted in a Ravens field goal. Then Houston scored and the offense forgot about Rice. He finished with only nine carries for 42 yards. Baltimore has a tendency to do forget about Rice when times get tough. Sometimes it would be in the team's best interest to continue to feed Rice the ball on the ground, even if the game begins shaky.
Wide receiver: C-minus
It seems every other week the Ravens receivers have a bad day gaining separation. Against Houston, it was one of those days. Houston defensive backs draped the likes of Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith all game. No one could get open and Flacco didn't have time to get the ball to them. This, after Aaron Rodgers threw for six touchdowns on the Texans a week earlier.
Tight end: C
Seriously, what has happened to Ed Dickson? He only had one catch for five yards and has been a non-factor in the passing game this season. Dennis Pitta was the safety net, as usual, but only managed 33 yards on five catches. With Baltimore having to pass primarily by the late second quarter, the two tight ends became one dimensional and were shut down.
Offensive line: D
Give credit to Kelechi Osemele for continuing to play after it looked like he sustained a severe ankle injury. But at the same time, we once again saw a regression from the line as a whole. The Ravens gave up four sacks and got beat on the edges once again. After locking up DeMarcus Ware a week ago, Michael Oher couldn't handle the athletic pass rushers Houston has. Baltimore may also want to re-think the Bobbie Williams decision as he was abused tie and time again. The line got Flacco sacked four times and hit repeatedly.
Defensive line: D
As long as Haloti Ngata isn't at least 75 percent, the defensive line is useless. No one sustained a push and were once again driven back, this time against a zone scheme the Ravens are extremely familiar with. Houston ran for 181 yards, so maybe the silver lining is the Texans didn't run for 200. Houston maintained offensive balance and was able to do whatever it wanted.
When it came to coverage, no one picked up Owen Daniels. Daniels had seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Though Eagles TE Brent Celek did more damage yardage-wise, it was reminiscent of how the Ravens defended Celek. Dannell Ellerbe had some good coverage plays early but the unit couldn't set an edge against the run, nor did it hold up against the pass as the game moved forward. The only reason this unit gets a C is because in limited time Terrell Suggs was impressive, willing his way to an early sack. Though he looks heavier, he's the most explosive defender left on the roster and with a bye this coming Sunday, Suggs' early return could bode well in future weeks.
Defensive backs: C-minus
Kevin Walter got behind Jimmy Smith twice on double moves, something Smith has struggled with for a two years now. Andre Johnson, though one of the best in the NFL, had 89 yards on nine catches. The DBs were asked to play the run quite a bit and then got beat in coverage. Losing Lardarius Webb will continue to hurt this team moving forward, especially with corners suspect to certain routes.
Special teams: A-minus
Suggs and special teams were the two bright spots from what was otherwise a horrible showing from this Baltimore team. Jacoby Jones averaged 32.7 yards per kickoff return. Kicker Justin Tucker nailed a 54-yarder down the middle and with a lot of room to spare. Punter Sam Koch averaged over 50 yards per punt, though the defense negated each of those for the most part. This has been a surprisingly solid unit this year, and perhaps the most consistent week in and week out.
Does it seem there's a handful of games each year that leave you scratching your head? Why the Ravens went away from running the ball on the second series is nothing short of baffling. It was a horrible coaching mistake, considering the Ravens forced themselves into becoming one-dimensional way too early. The running game worked on the first drive and that was all we saw of it for the most part. On defense, Dean Pees' unit looked bad again. Though I'm a believer that personnel is the issue more so than Pees, he has to do something this bye week to try and mask the problems. At this level of football, it's a little too hard to mask deficiencies like it is in college.
Total game score: 1.8 (C-minus)
Last week -- QB: B-plus, RB: A-minus, WR: B-plus, TE: B, OL: B-plus, DL: D, LB: D, DB: C-plus, ST: A-minus, coaching: B
Year to date -- QB: 2.7, RB: 3.3, WR: 2.7, TE: 2.7, OL: 2.3, DL: 1.9, LB: 1.9, DB: 2.4, ST: 3.4, coaching: 2.7. Year to date score: 2.6.
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.
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