Baltimore (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens (1-0) won their season opener for the first time since 2012. The Buffalo Bills (0-1) gave Baltimore all they could handle. But in the end, it’s the Ravens that would stand tall thanks to some big-time performances from key players.
Offense Grade: C
The first half of this game showed fans what the offense is capable of. Joe Flacco was nothing short of magnificent as he seemed to have total control of his unit. The second quarter would hold Baltimore’s one and only touchdown when Joe Flacco tossed a 66 yard pass to Mike Wallace to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead.
The second half was less than flattering for the team as they were only able to score a field goal the rest of the way. Steve Smith returned to action following an Achilles injury, but was only able to muster 19 yards on 5 receptions. The Ravens running backs struggled against the Bills front seven. Most notably, Terrance West finished with 32 yards on 12 carries.
Defense Grade: A
It sure does seem like the Ravens defense is back to the form fans are accustomed to. How good were they? Baltimore’s defense held Tyrod Taylor to 111 yards passing and Lesean McCoy to less than 4 yards per carry and under 60 yards. CB Shareece Wright played like a man possessed on Sunday against the Bills skill players. He finished with a whopping 11 solo tackles including 3 for a loss.
Terrell Suggs, who played for the first time since suffering from an Achilles injury, was held in check for the majority of the game by the Bills offensive line. However, he was still able to record a pivotal sack late in the game that helped Baltimore pick up the win. If the Ravens can keep this level of play up on defense for the remainder of the season, Baltimore will surprise a lot of people in 2016.
Special Teams: B
Justin Tucker and Sam Koch performed well as is usually the case with the duo. Newly acquired returner Devin Hester wanted to make an impact but was unable to do so. It appears as if the Bills made it a point to punt away from him throughout the game. Kick returning was an issue for Hester as he was routinely stopped short of the 25-yard line.
Coaching Grade: B+
The coaching plan was solid. The team was clearly focused on stopping the run and keeping Tyrod Taylor inside the pocket. Were it not for a missed sack in the second quarter, Baltimore could’ve recorded a shutout against Buffalo. Coach John Harbaugh will need to work on getting the offense in sync because they often looked lost on a few series. The false starts by the offensive lineman stalled drives on numerous occasions.