Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Monday, January 4, 2010


Quarterback: D

Joe Flacco had a very sluggish game, one of his worst of the season. He completed just 11 of 19 passes for 102 yards with no touchdowns for a 72.7 quarterback rating. The best thing that can be said of Flacco on an uncharacteristically shaky game is that he didn't throw any interceptions or fumble while being sacked four times. His longest completion was just 23 yards and his pocket presence didn't look good.

Running back: A

Willis McGahee's stiff-arm heard round the world was truly impressive, embarrassing defensive back Hiram Eugene on his 77-yard touchdown run, the Ravens' longest play of the season. He rushed for a season-high 167 yards, scoring three touchdowns to tie Michael Jackson and Jamal Lewis' franchise record with a total of 14 touchdowns for the season. With the Raiders apparently only game-planning for Ray Rice, they didn't seem prepared for McGahee's powerful style. Rice still rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries.

Receiver: C-minus

They didn't create a lot of separation, having no answers for Raiders shutdown cornerback Nmandi Asomugha, who held Derrick Mason to one catch. Once again, Ray Rice was the most impactful receiver with four receptions. Tight end Todd Heap caught two passes for 40 yards.

Offensive line: C-minus

The good news? They created huge pathways for the running game, which piled up 240 yards and three touchdown runs on 35 carries. The bad news? They allowed Joe Flacco to be sacked four times. Flacco needs more time with his limited mobility nowadays to make plays happen. He's not escaping the pocket these days.

Defensive line: C-plus

The Raiders have some solid running backs, but you couldn't tell by watching this game. The Ravens held them to 51 rushing yards on 20 carries, an average of 2.6 yards per carry. Nose guard Kelly Gregg had six tackles and a sack.

Linebacker: B-plus

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis registered a dozen tackles and was very active in run support. However, he got beaten on tight end Zach Miller's touchdown catch as he has been struggling in single pass coverage on third downs. Undrafted rookie Dannell Ellerbe had an outstanding game with a key interception and a fumble recovery. Antwan Barnes had a clutch sack and forced the fumble. Terrell Suggs notched a sack.

Secondary: C-minus

They got picked apart by Charlie Frye, and they're fortunate that he hurt his back and had to leave the game as colossal bust JaMarcus Russell served up two turnovers to help the Ravens clinch the playoff berth. Frye completed 18 of 25 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Free safety Ed Reed knocked off some rust in his first game back from a groin injury. Strong safety Dawan Landry's pass deflection prevented a long touchdown.

Special teams: C

Long snapper Matt Katula's bad snaps are becoming a bigger issue, causing a missed Billy Cundiff field goal on a low snap. He also had another bad snap on an extra point. Punter Sam Koch played well, averaging 42.4 yards. Chris Carr averaged 16.5 yards per punt return. And Jalen Parmele had another strong game on kickoff returns, averaging 34.5 yards with a long return of 53 yards.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TL, what do think is going on with Flacco? I know his injuries are limiting his mobility, but he isn't moving at all within the pocket, he won't even attempt to scramble, and ,ost importantly, his decision making is slooowwww as molasses. He's as much a statue right now in the pocket as Drew Bledsoe ever was. How can there be this much negative change over the course of 12 weeks? A defense just needs to collapse the pocket a little up the middle on any pass play, and the play is over.