Ravens vs. Redskins Grades For Each Position Unit

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Aug 23, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) carries the ball as Washington Redskins free safety David Amerson (39) defends in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Offense: B+

We would give the quarterbacks an A- and the running backs a C+, so it all averages out in the wash.  Both Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor (6 of 9 for 65 yards, 1 touchdown) had a solid game.  Flacco had played sparingly coming into game 3 of the preseason, tossing a total of 22 passes combined in two games.  Gary Kubiak unleashed Flacco against the Redskins, and he finished with 23 attempts in two quarters of work.

Part of the reason Flacco got so much work in the passing game might have something to do with the team’s inability to run the football against the Redskins.  The Ravens finished with 28 attempts for 82 yards rushing, which is a paltry average of 2.9 yards per attempt.  To be fair, Ray Rice didn’t play a single snap, and Bernard Pierce exited early with a concussion.

The offensive line took a big step back in this game as well.  After providing good protection for Flacco through the first two games, the first team o-line gave up two sacks and multiple QB hits.  And they deserve much of the blame for the ineptitude of the run game as well.  They just weren’t opening up any holes for Justin Forsett or Lorenzo Taliaferro to run through.

Thankfully, the wide receivers came to play Saturday night.  Steve Smith had by far his best game of the preseason, racking up 6 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.  Kyle Juszczyk had a big game as well, racking up 5 catches for 53 yards, and Torrey Smith had 4 catches for 41 yards.  It was an encouraging performance for a team that was stifled on the ground after leading the NFL in rushing through two weeks, yet still found a way to win.