Baltimore Ravens Grades Week Eight, Cincinnati Bengals Edition

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Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Offense: D

A very uneven performance.  Joe Flacco had trouble getting anything going for most of the game and threw one bad interception. We won’t pin his other INT on him as Torrey Smith stopped on his route after taking a bad hit and checking out of the game. Flacco did take a step back against a Bengals defense he has struggled with, completing exactly 50% of his passes even though he was only pressured four times in the entire game.

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The wide receivers deserve just as much blame.  Steve Smith could only secure 3 of 8 targets for 35 yards while Torrey Smith went 0 for 2.  Lorenzo Taliaferro, the backup running back, actually “led” the team in receiving with 42 yards on two grabs.  Michael Campanaro started out the game on fire, but exited early with a hamstring injury and never returned.

Even Justin Forsett had a hard time continuing his hot streak, managing only 4.0 yards per carry by taking 17 attempts for 68 yards.  If there were any good takeaways, it was the performance of Taliaferro, who took over for Bernard Pierce, who was a healthy scratch.  Taliaferro looked like a powerful goal line presence and was surprisingly effective in the passing game as well.

The other positive takeaway was that Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele were back and had solid days despite scaring us with potential injuries.  Luckily both appear to have escaped no worse for wear, and the offensive line as a whole did their part on Sunday.  Too bad nobody else did.

Next: Defense