Quarterback – Joe Flacco showed the poise of a veteran in his first pro contest. He played a nearly flawless game, and the score would have represented this, if not for multiple drops and fumbles by the skill players. Cam Cameron deserves praise for his play calling, as he put the rookie Flacco in a great position to succeed throughout the entire game. He showed some exciting mobility for a player his size on his 38 yard TD run, and you have to love having a 6’6" QB out there. Granted, it was the Cincinnati D but you couldn’t have asked for more given the situation.
Grade – A-
Running Back – Willis McGahee was a game time decision and did not suit up. Ray Rice is a tough runner and picked up multiple first downs throughout the game. His drop of a potential touchdown, and his fumble when the Ravens were threatening in Bengal’s territory that was returned for a TD, are cause for concern, but overall he had a solid debut. The real star in the back field were the full backs. Lorenzo Neal punished the Bengal’s defenders, and LeRon McClain was a force with the rock. He had 86 yards on 19 carries and dominated the forth quarter with his power running style. With the return of Willis McGahee, the running game has the potential to be dominant this year.
Grade – B+
Receivers – Mark Clayton had an electrifying 41 Yard TD scamper for the Ravens first score, and showed flashes of the player we envisioned after his breakout sophmore season. Derrick Mason remains a very solid possession option, and the backs caught the ball well out of the back field. Todd Heap’s play was a major cause for concern. He had an awful fumble, and dropped an easy TD. He was shaken up when he took a hard hit late in the game, but Heap should be healthy enough to play next week. This group has potential but needs to help out their rookie Quarterback.
Grade – C+
Offensive Line: This group looked great in their first game together at their respective positions. The line gave the running backs a consistent push, and they opened up nice holes all game. They handled their most important task flawlessly, which was protecting their rookie quarterback, as Flacco barely was touched all game. Jared Gaither flashed massive potential with his seemingly effortless domination of the Bengal’s pass rush. If the lines keeps up this level of play, the Ravens could surprise a lot of people.
Grade – A