Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns Grades and Recap
By Brett Foote
Sep 21, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West (28) is taken down by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) and Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Overall, this was a regression from last week’s performance against the Steelers and a big letdown for the defense. The Browns do employ one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, but the Ravens just couldn’t generate any pressure on quarterback Brian Hoyer as he took advantage of a clean pocket to hit pass after pass.
In fact, the only sack Hoyer took came when he tripped and fell on his own feet. Outside of that blunder, Hoyer completed 19 of 25 passes for 290 yards (11.6 avg), one touchdown, and zero interceptions (89.5 QBR). Hoyer can thank the Raven’s D for giving him another week that he doesn’t have to worry about losing his job to Johnny Manziel.
The secondary was even worse, despite the return of Lardarius Webb. Webb wound up only playing 4 snaps and obviously ins’t 100% yet. Jimmy Smith received his first negative grade of the season from Pro Football focus for his pass coverage, but he wasn’t terrible. Asa Jackson, on the other hand, was very bad, drawing an unnecessary penalty and grading out poorly in pass coverage.
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The worst offender, however, was safety Matt Elam. Elam had his worst game of the season and gave up multiple huge plays, including a 70 yard gain where he was burned in dramatic fashion. On top of that, he drew a pass interference penalty. While many had high hopes for the sophomore this season, he has so far failed to deliver any glimmer of hope that he might become a reliable option in the secondary.
The only three players on defense who graded out well Sunday were Terrell Suggs (1.5), C.J. Mosley (1.3), and Courtney Upshaw (1.1). Suggs did a great job stopping the run, as he has done all season, but failed to generate much pass rush outside of one quarterback hit. Mosley continues to play well against the run, and performed admirably against the pass this week. Upshaw was equally good against both the pass and the run this week.