Baltimore Ravens report card versus Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback– Joe Flacco played a great game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he completed 28 out of 48 of his passes for 300 yards and a touchdown pass. His numbers might not look perfect but keep in mind his receivers had a few yards. Grade A
Running backs– Ray Rice had a tough game running the ball against the Steelers defense, he only had 43 rushing yards on 18 carries. Rice was more effective in the passing game, with five receptions for 43 yards. Ricky Williams was solid as a backup. Note that Rice did have an 80-yard touchdown run taken back on what most people thought was a bad penalty. Grade B
Receivers– Anquan Boldin led the team with seven receptions for 88 yards. Tight end Dennis Pitta was also huge when it came to moving the chains and making first down catches. Torrey Smith had a few drops but came up big on his second chance for the game winning touchdown, Smith had 5 receptions for 71 yards. Still too many dropped passes to have a high grade. Grade B
Offensive line– Guard Ben Grubbs made his first start since the last time the Baltimore Ravens played the Steelers. It was a vast improvement from having Andre Gurode play. The Steelers only had three sacks all of which were from James Harrison. Grade B
Defensive line– It was obvious that nose tackle Haloti Ngata was not playing at full strength. The Ravens only had one sack and failed to put much pressure on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Defensive end Paul Kruger had half a sack and earn more playing time by the end of the game. They did a good job controlling the Steelers running game. Grade B
Linebackers– Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson lead the linebackers with five tackles. Terrell Suggs was pretty much contained the entire game but came up with a big interception. Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain laid some big hits to dislodge balls. Grade B+
Secondary– The lack of a pass rush hurt this unit. They gave Roethlisberger have too much time to find receivers. Lardarius Webb had a strong game and led the team with seven tackles. Cary Williams played solid but was beat during long plays. Chris Carr saw little action but was beaten because he played off Steelers tight end Heath Miller too much. Grade B-
Special teams– Billy Cundiff missed a long field goal but hit three others, the miss is forgivable because Pittsburgh is very hard to kick in. The punt and kick coverage teams were solid and did not allow any big returns. Grade B+
Coaching staff– The coaching staff did a wonderful job preparing for this game. My only knock on the coaching staff is the fact that they tried to block James Harrison with tight ends and running backs, that was a bad idea, and it led to him having three sacks. Grade A
I originally gave Flacco an A+ and the defensive line a C+. Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo suggested that I change the grades. He made valid points. See the tweet for yourself. I still think Flacco deserves an A simply because he played great against a great defense. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not play as well as Flacco did against the Steelers defense, that says something. I will drop him down to an A though. I would also suggest that everyone follow Ayanbadejo on twitter.
@BHradsky you are off in a few categories primarily qb. I give joe a b+
Dline stopped the run so I give em a B.