Ravens Grades: Evaluating the Broncos game

Another week is in the books and the report card has been given out. See how RavensInsider.com publisher Jason Butt graded the Ravens following their 34-17 loss to Denver.

Quarterback: D

Joe Flacco completed 20-40 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also fumbled on a QB sneak on his third snap of the game. His interception to Chris Harris that went 98 yards the other way was ill-advised and possibly his worst throw of the season. He started completing some throws in the second half but it was too little, too late.

Running back: C

Ray Rice only had 38 yards on 12 carries and didn't touch the ball in the fourth quarter. Then again, if you have 38 yards on 12 carries through three quarters and you're down a significant amount, you can't really make a case for continuing to give Rice the ball. Bernard Pierce had 20 yards on five carries and would've added about 12 more if not for a holding call. Pierce's concussion was unfortunate, but it's clear the Ravens have a great back for the future with the rookie from Temple.

Wide receiver: C-minus

Jacoby Jones had a big 46-yard reception but that was it from the receivers. Anquan Boldin was held without a catch and Torrey Smith had just one catch for 14 yards. Tandon Doss and David Reed were able to come up with some catches in the second half in the intermediate passing game, which could be something to look forward to.

Tight end: A-minus

Dennis Pitta had a career day, catching seven passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. It was his 61-yard score that showed what he's made of though. Pitta could've avoided contact and run out of bounds. Instead he bristled by one tackler, spun by another and stiff armed Rahim Moore to the turf before running into the end zone. Pitta had a great game as one of a few bright spots offensively.

Offensive line: D

By my count, the Ravens' offensive line had 11 negative plays, seven of those coming in the first half. Rookie Kelechi Osemele had the roughest day of the bunch as he was unable to even slow down Von Miller and Elvis Dumerville the slightest. Contributing to Flacco's slow start was the line's inability to buy him much time, which led to overthrows and poorly thrown balls.

Defensive line: C

Terrence Cody offered no push inside and Haloti Ngata was noticeably absent for stretches. Pernell McPhee was able to get some good pressures and sack Manning in the first half. Art Jones had three total tackles and Ma'ake Kemoeatu added three as well.

Linebackers: C

The Ravens had a tough time stopping the run, which falls upon the front seven's inability to clog up Denver's rushing lanes. Josh Bynes had a decent game, totaling 11 tackles. Brendon Ayanbadejo had nine tackles but Paul Kruger went without a sack for the first time in five games. There could be some concern with Terrell Suggs, who only had one tackle while fighting through his torn biceps. At one point early, Suggs tried to wrap up Knowshon Moreno but Moreno broke free. It doesn't appear Suggs has near the same kind of strength he did before the injury.

Defensive backs: C

Cary Williams had a pretty good day but will be the one scrutinized for Eric Decker's big touchdown. However, it was Ed Reed that tried to jump an out-route as he bit on Decker's double move. Williams looked shocked to see Reed not over the top and helping in coverage. Though Decker had a big day, the Ravens DBs contained the rest of the receiving targets for 71 yards.

Special teams: A-minus

Outside of one good punt return from Trindon Holliday, the coverage units did a much better job after giving up a big punt return against Washington a week ago. Jacoby Jones had a 50-yard kickoff return and Tandon Doss had a 40-yard punt return of his own. Justin Tucker made his lone field goal chance and Sam Koch once again had a punting average over 50 yards. Albert McClellan forced a fumble on a kickoff play but the ball rolled out of bounds in an unfortunate play for Baltimore.

Coaching: F

I don't need to rehash my feelings of not going for a two-point conversion after Pitta's 61-yard touchdown so I won't. John Harbaugh admitted the Ravens could have mixed things up offensively as the Ravens ran the ball on first down on five of their first seven possessions (with the other two plays being passes to FB Vonta Leach). I've also touched on Harbaugh's challenge after Torrey Smith's incompletion which was dumb, only to find out after watching the TV copy he almost challenged another play in the first half that wouldn't have gone his way either. Is it just me or is there a communication disconnect between the coaching staff right now?

Total game score: 1.9 (C)


Last week: QB: D, RB: B-plus, WR: B, TE: B-plus, OL: B, DL: C, LB, D, DB: C, ST: C, coaching: F

Year to date: QB: 2.4, RB: 3.3, WR: 2.7, TE: 2.8, OL: 2.3, DL: 2.3, LB: 2.3, DB: 2.6, ST: 3.4, coaching: 2.3. Total year to date: 2.6 (B-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.

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