Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 24-10 win over the Colts | COMMENTARY

Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun
·4 min read

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 24-10 road win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson, like the rest of the offense, struggled in the first half, but he took over the game in the second. The Ravens increased the tempo and Jackson got the offense in and out of the huddle and to the line of scrimmage quickly. He was a threat as a runner inside and outside in the second half, and he also became more effective as a passer, completing 12 straight attempts to end the game. This was one of the few games this season in which Jackson took over and served as a dual-threat. He passed for 170 yards and rushed for a team-high 58 yards and a touchdown. Grade: B

Running backs

For the second straight game, the Ravens were without starting running back Mark Ingram II, and for the second straight game, they didn’t really miss him. Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins were dominant in the second half, even though most of their runs were set up by Jackson. Edwards had a fumble near the goal line early in the second half that halted a drive, but he read blocks well in between the tackles. Dobbins has more speed on the outside than Edwards, and that allows him to pop a big run occasionally when paired with Jackson on the option. Grade: C+

Offensive line

In the first half, this group was sloppy and got dominated, especially on the left side with tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and guard Bradley Bozeman. Center Matt Skura had several bad shotgun snaps, and that could have been from a cut on his finger. But the Ravens stopped Indianapolis’ penetration in the second half and started getting movement on the snap, which allowed the guards to make blocks into the second level. The Ravens need to play 60 minutes of football. Grade: C

Receivers

Tight end Mark Andrews was effective over the middle and came up with clutch receptions throughout the game. Just as importantly, Andrews was an effective as a blocker in the running game, along with fellow tight end Nick Boyle. It appears that the Ravens are going to go back to last year’s formula of being a run-first first and only throwing to complement the running game or when necessary. Boyle and receiver Willie Snead IV each had four receptions, while Marquise Brown and Andrews finished with three. Grade: B-

Defensive line

Tackle Brandon Williams and end Derek Wolfe got off to slow starts and were pushed around a little but got stronger as the game went on. Ends/outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee initially had trouble controlling the edge but started to dominate midway into the second quarter. Wolfe finished with three tackles but was relentless in pursuit. The Colts had 112 rushing yards on 21 carries, but some of their long runs came on reverses or end-arounds. Williams finished with two tackles and rookie Justin Madubuike had five. Grade: B+

Linebackers

The Ravens didn’t register a sack but they accomplished their main objective by making quarterback Philip Rivers move in the pocket with constant pressure. Rivers completed only 25 of 43 passes for 227 yards and finished with a passer rating of 62.8. Judon, McPhee and Yannick Ngakoue got constant pressure. Rookie inside linebacker Malik Harrison led all Ravens with 11 tackles while Judon finished with seven. Grade: B

Secondary

The Ravens continue to force turnovers every week, as cornerback Marcus Peters caused a fumble that led to a Ravens touchdown and made a crucial interception early in the second half. He also finished with five tackles, one fewer than fellow cornerback Jimmy Smith, who was filling in for Humphrey after he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. The Ravens were slow in coming up and tackling the Colts after receptions in the first quarter, but they improved over the rest of the game. Safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott controlled the middle of the field with some physical hits in the second half. Grade: A-

Special teams

Harrison is developing into one of the team’s top performers and has a knack for being around the ball. Justin Tucker converted on one field-goal attempt of 48 yards and Sam Koch averaged 44.7 yards on six punts. The Ravens need to get more out of their return game after averaging only 6.5 yards on two punt returns. Grade: B+

Coaching

The Ravens had a tough week dealing with missed practice time because of the COVID-19 protocols but still worked well within their game plan. They started off slow but were dominant after halftime. They were missing three starters before the game with injuries and lost another one early in the game in defensive end Calais Campbell, who suffered a calf strain. The Ravens weren’t overwhelming, but they were solid in a challenging week. Grade: B

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