Mike Preston Grades The Ravens Win In South Beach
Mike Preston is a writer for the Baltimore Sun, every week Mike grades the Ravens performance position by position. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Baltimore Sun and find Preston’s report card in the sports section.
Mike’s grades were higher this week as the Ravens played a much better game then they did a week ago.
Mike gave Joe Flacco a B, he didn’t put up great stats but carried the team in the face a constant furious pressure from the Dolphins defense.
The running backs got a grade of C. Mike said Rice and Pierce both struggled in the first half coming out to sluggish starts. They both picked up their games in the second half, but Mike says Pierce has to run much harder and stay closer to FB Vonta Leach.
The receivers and tight ends received a grade of C+. The Ravens only dressed three wide receivers for the game and 3 tight ends. Torrey Smith continues to be the Ravens best receiving threat he had 6 catches for 121 yards. There was also an Ed Dickson sighting as he had 2 catches for 51 yards including a big 43 yarder.
The offensive line was given a grade of C-. Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele left the game early in the first quarter with back spasms. Back-up center A Q Shipley had to shift over and play LG for the remainder of the game. Mike was very critical of Bryant McKinnie saying “he played so poorly it would be interesting to see if the Ravens keep him around or simply cut him.”
Switching over to the defense Mike gave the defensive line an A-. The Ravens defensive line depth was tested in the Miami heat, but held strong giving up just 22 yards on 11 carries “a dominating performance.” Haloti Ngata was a beast and the Ravens were able to get consistent pressure while rotating 5 players in and out.
The linebackers also got an A-. Daryl Smith lead the team in tackles and knocked a pass down. on the outside Upshaw and Suggs were great against the run and Suggs added 3 sacks of Ryan Tannehill.
Mike was not as kind to the Ravens secondary giving them a failing grade of D. Mike said the safeties played poorly for the second week in a row, allowing Miami to get behind them to easily. Mike also added that while Jimmy Smith is improving he still has a way to go, and that the Dolphins were not afraid to go after Webb and Graham.
The Special Teams received a C. Justin Tucker went 4-4 on field goals, including the game winning 44 yard field goal. Sam Koch is the reason the grade is low as he had one of his worst days as a Raven. Deonte Thompson looked good on kick returns and Tandon Doss was okay on his punt returns,
Finally the Ravens coaching staff was given a C+. Mike said the Ravens came back with a better effort this week but still making big mistakes on both sides of the ball.