Ravens Report Card (Steelers 7 Ravens 35)
Quarterback– This is the best I have ever seen Joe Flacco play. He made great pinpoint, or as I say Manning like passes. I was referring to Peyton Manning, not Eli, Joe went through his progressions nicely. Flacco had a 117.6 quarterback rating and only hit one wide receiver, Anquan Boldin. Three touchdowns, no interceptions, Easy A+.
Running backs– Ray Rice was dominant against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rice ran for 107 yards, had a running touchdown, and 4 catches for 42 yards with 1 touchdown. Ricky Williams also had a solid game running for 63 yards. Overall, the Ravens running backs averaged 5.5 yards per carry, unreal against the Steelers defense. Vonta Leach was powerful in blocking as well, Solid A.
Offensive line– For anyone who watched my video blog this week, you will know that I was very concerned about the offensive line. I had little to worry about. The addition of Bryant McKinnie really makes a huge difference. McKinnie allows Michael Oher and Marshal Yanda to move back to their best positions. They showed a little rust with some penalties but they jelled very quickly. B+
Receivers– Anquan Boldin and Ed Dickson both had great games. They both had receptions taken away by penalties and still put up solid numbers. Lee Evans helped take attention away from Boldin. Dennis Pitta looked like a Todd Heap clone. Boldin was the only wide receiver with a reception. Look for Tandon Doss to be active in future games. Solid B
Defensive Line– Was this group impressive or what? Haloti Ngata was just devastating. He and Terrell Suggs gave Ben Roethlisberger headaches. Rookie, Pernell McPhee saw a lot of playing time and did a great job eating up blockers. Grade A+
Linebackers– Suggs had three sacks, Ray Lewis had an interception and a forced fumble. They were very solid. Oh, and fan favorite Jarret Johnson lit up Hines Ward. Grade A
Secondary– ED REED!!! Ed Reed had two interceptions and despite losing first-round pick Jimmy Smith on the opening kickoff, the entire secondary played outstanding football. The numbers might not look good, but they started playing deep late in the game. Cary Williams had a great game despite giving up a touchdown pass early in the game. Grade A
Special Teams– The biggest surprise here was that the Steelers had a couple returns against Billy Cundiff. The kick covering team could have done better, no excuses to allowing long returns. Cundiff was solid kicking field goals and Sam Koch has some good punts. Grade B
Coaching Staff– I have never seen the Ravens play the Steelers like this. The coaching staff deserves as much credit as the players. The Ravens came ready to play while the Steelers did not. Grade A+