Pro Football Focus, one the most reputable sources around for grading and scouting metrics, wasn't shy at all about throwing down the truth when it came to the Ravens' Week 3 performance.
One Raven has the unique distinction of being the worst player in the league for Week 3, and his name shouldn't surprise you. It's James Hurst.
I wouldn't call it a stretch to say that Hurst has been the human equivalent of a participation ribbon. It's just been awful. Hurst, who has been starting in the place of the injured Eugene Monroe, isn't in PFF's dog house for the first time either, as he logged a rating below -10 in Week 1 as well. Here's what PFF had to say about this week's -11.2 rating.
"Hurst struggled both protecting the QB and blocking the run against the Bengals — the only two things he’s asked to do. He allowed a QB hit and five additional pressures, as well as six tackles for two yards or less in the run game."
Yikes. But Hurst's poor performance leads us right into PFF's next victim, someone who is likely a beneficiary of Hurst's blocking.
The player in question would be Justin Forsett, the Ravens' lead back who has put up a whopping 124 yards over three games. Here's what PFF had to say about naming him the league's worst back in Week 3.
Forsett was essentially invisible in his game, racking up only 13 yards on 10 carries. He didn’t force a single missed tackle. He was hardly better catching the ball out of the backfield, seeing six targets and catching just four of them for 16 yards and one drop.
While the agency isn't singing the praises of Forsett's -2.4 rating, they did have some nice things to say about receiver Steve Smith, Sr. Smith made their Week 3 All-Star team, starting at WR alongside Larry Fitzgerald.
What year is it? These two veterans rolled back the years to pick up two touchdowns each and top the 100-yard mark. Their presence here is pretty impressive, considering they kept Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and A.J. Green out in what was another big week for the big-name receivers.
13 REC., 186 YDS., and two trips to the house is impressive for any receiver, let alone for a 36-year old who is the only real receiving threat on his team. This performance, combined with last week's 10 REC./150 YDS. stat line makes it the first time in his career that he has posted back-to-back games with 10+ receptions and 150 yards. It's amazing that the veteran is still seemingly in the prime of his career, even in his very last year.
One would certainly hope that the Ravens stay off of PFF's bad list from now on, and for the near future, it seems possible. With Eugene Monroe recovering from his concussion, he could take back his starting role from Hurst anytime now. As for Forsett, hopefully the addition of Monroe and games where he actually gets the ball will help him return to last season's form.
But my gut tells me that the Ravens are far from that idyll at the moment.