Wow. That’s all I can say. What a great game. Derrick Mason, who? Willis McGahee, who? Todd Heap, who? Le’Ron McClain, who? This is looking to be the most explosive offense the Ravens have ever had. Add that to the still stingy defense, and we may have a chance at that game in February.
I stole this idea from the Buffalo Bills FanSided site. I was reading their take on the amazing win over the Pats. There’s nothing I like more than seeing Tom Brady throw 4 interceptions well except maybe the Steelers ALMOST losing to the Peyton Manning-less Colts. That was pretty awesome too.
Anyways, every week I’ll go through each position and give them grades based on how I think they did. This week, almost every one has top marks.
See the Ravens Report Card after the jump.
Quarter Back: A
How can you not give Flacco an A here? He had his biggest game ever despite two fumbles, one of which he lost in the 4th quarter. He threw for 389 yards and 3 TDs with no picks and a QB rating of 103.6. He was really fantastic and will quiet critics for this week. He moved well out of the pocket, his foot work looked much improved, and you can tell he is maturing because he goes through his progressions wonderfully. He doesn’t get the A+ just because of the fumbles.
Running Backs: A
When your star RB only touches the ball 13 times yet racks up 162 yards, you know he’s good. He only had 8 carries for 79 rushing yards. He had a field day against this Rams defense and has shown that he’s the best RB in the league on the screen pass. Without a doubt. Ricky Williams also showed us his first burst and he had 42 yards on the play.
Torrey Smith and those other guys called Wide Receivers: A+
I have to hand out my first A+ here. Torrey Smith was this game. I am so happy for this guy. He had a bad preseason, dropping a lot of passes, and didn’t record a catch in either of his first two NFL games. He got the starting nod because of Lee Evans and David Reed being out and he didn’t disappoint. He made history being the first rookie in the NFL to record 3 catches for 3 TDs in the first quarter of his first start. The first play from scrimmage was a 74-yard pass from Flacco to Smith in which he burned the secondary to score a TD. He scored two more in the quarter. He also had a key short-yardage catch later in the game on 3rd and 15 or something of that sort. That’s not really a short-yardage situation but compared to his other catches on the day it was. Boldin also had 75 yards on the day and I liked seeing Vonta Leach be targeted and catch the ball a few times. It’s something you don’t expect.
Tight Ends: B+
Dickson didn’t look bad at all. He had 50 yards on the day but it’s hard to give him an A when he was out-shined by the receivers. He had a great 18-yard catch though.
Offensive Line: B
I’m so glad they made the decision to start Andre Gurode over Mark LeVoir for the injured Ben Grubbs. Gurode didn’t disappoint. Holes opened up all day. He was sacked twice though and hit 7 times and Oher got called for two more stupid penalties. That’s why I can’t go higher here.
Defensive Line: A
A great day for them too. It’s amazing that Ngata can cause so much damage on the inside like he does. He recovered a fumble and rumbled 28 yards down the field to the end zone. 5th-round pick Pernell McPhee impressed with a sack and 2 tackles. Cory Redding is really great too and he recorded a sack as well.
My second A+ on this report card. What a day these guys had. Ray Lewis. He STILL has it. And he STILL gives me chills. 10 solo tackles on the day including the sack that forced the fumble that Ngata recovered and scored with. T-Sizzle is continuing from last season; he got a sack and 4 tackles and 2 QB hits. Jarret Johnson is great too and McClain had 5 solo tackles.
This was in between a B+ and an A- for me, but I decided to take the higher of the two because the secondary is so depleted right now, yet the biggest play they let up was a 34-yard TD thrown perfectly by Bradford for the only Rams score of the day. First, it was great to see Chris Carr come back and get some playing time. Although Cary Williams scares me, he had a decent game. He was covering the guy that caught the TD pass from Bradford but it was just out of his reach for the pick because of how accurate Bradford is. Teams will pick on him since Foxworth isn’t playing. Ed Reed broke up a few key long plays and is just Ed Reed. Webb looked good, I love his agressive-ness, and he notched his first interception.
Special Teams: B-
They have looked better than recently on not allowing long returns. However, they’re still allowing holes in the special teams coverage which I don’t like. On the other side, the Ravens (Webb and LaQuan Williams) had some pretty good returns. However, the main reason they get a B- is because Billy Cundiff missed two 50+ yard field goals. In a dome. C’mon man!