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2019 season report card: Quarterbacks and running backs

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With the postseason and Pro Bowl concluded, the 2019-20 season is now officially over for the Ravens. Therefore, it’s an appropriate time to look back on the season as a whole and examine each player’s performance on the year.

We’ll start with the quarterback and running back positions, which will be followed by other position groups throughout the roster.

Stay tuned for those and share your thoughts below!

Lamar Jackson

Regular season stats: 3,127 passing yards, 66.1 CMP%, 36 TD, 6 INT, 1,206 rushing yards, 6.9 YPC, 7 TD

Postseason stats: 31/59, 365 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 63.2 rating, 143 rushing yards, 7.2 YPC

There isn’t much left to be said about Lamar Jackson’s sophomore campaign that hasn’t already. Jackson set multiple new records and challenged for others en route to a Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selection. More importantly, he’s all but a shoe-in to win MVP.

Beginning in Week 1 and continuing throughout nearly the entire season, Jackson was efficient and accurate through the air. He had multiple games with a perfect passer rating and five touchdown passes, as well as several performances with 100+ rushing yards. In the rare outlier games in which he struggled throwing the ball, Jackson compensated with elite rushing production.

It’s hard to outright say any of Jackson’s performances qualify as his best of the season, but the top ones that come to mind are against the Dolphins in Week 1, or any one of his games versus the Patriots, Bengals, Rams, Texans or Jets in the second half of the season. He was far from perfect in the postseason loss to Tennessee but that fails to overshadow what was a historic and iconic regular season run.

Jackson was everything the Ravens could have hoped for this year - and then some.

Grade: A+

Robert Griffin III

Regular season stats: 23/28, 225 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 70 rushing yards, 3.5 YPC

Postseason stats: N/A

In addition to being a valuable veteran presence behind Jackson, RGIII wound up appearing in seven games this season - the highest number for him since 2014.

Griffin played cleanup duty in six games this season before drawing the start against the Steelers in Week 17 with Jackson on the mend. In the regular season finale, Griffin only completed 11/21 throws for 96 yards and an interception but added 50 rushing yards.

His best stat line of the year came in Week 1, when he completed all six of his pass attempts against the Dolphins for 55 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps his most memorable moment this season came against the Bengals in Week 10, though, when Griffin received a pitch from Lamar Jackson and rushed for nine yards out of the “Heisman Package”.

Grade: C+

Trace McSorley

When the Ravens selected QB Trace McSorley in the sixth round of the 2019 draft, many speculated that he could play a Taysom Hill-esque role for the team. It made sense given his versatility and dual-threat ability.

However, the general consensus was that the decision to draft McSorley was with the long-term in mind rather than the short-term, which proved to be the case. The Penn State product was a healthy scratch for nearly the entire season with the exception of the regular season finale, when he suited up and rushed for a yard.

Grade: Incompete

Mark Ingram II

Regular season stats: 201 attempts, 1,018 rushing yards, 5.0 YPC, 26 catches, 247 receiving yards, 15 TD

Postseason stats: 6 attempts, 22 rushing yards, 3.7 YPC, 1 reception, 9 receiving yards

In his first year with the Ravens, veteran RB Mark Ingram II proved to be a valuable free agent signing. Upon day one and throughout the season, Ingram played a vital role in the team’s success both on and off the field.

Ingram opened the season with 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins, which wound up being one of his four 100+ yard performances. On the flip side, he was held under 50 rushing yards in five games but even when not producing big gains, Ingram ran hard and converted much-needed first downs.

He also made a significant impact in the passing game, particularly later in the season. Ingram caught 26 receptions for 247 yards and five touchdowns through the air while providing stout pass protection from the halfback position.

Unfortunately, Ingram suffered a calf injury against the Browns in Week 16 which held him out of the season finale and limited his practice availability leading up to the Divisional Round of the postseason. Against the Titans, Ingram lacked explosion and was evidently not fully recovered.

Still, all-in-all, a successful campaign for Lamar Jackson’s No. 1 hype man.

Grade: A-

Gus Edwards

Regular season stats: 133 attempts, 711 rushing yards, 5.3 YPC, 2 TD, 7 receptions, 45 receiving yards

Postseason stats: 3 attempts, 20 yards, 6.7 YPC

In his second career season, Gus Edwards posted nearly identical numbers to that of his rookie campaign across the board. Edwards was effective and efficient in a backup role behind Ingram, generally making the most of his 133 rushing attempts.

Edwards appeared in all 16 games this year, rushing for 100+ yards twice and eclipsing the 4.0 YPC mark in ten contests. In Week 17, Edwards drew the start and churned out a career-high 130 rushing yards on 21 attempts.

“Gus Bus” didn’t make much of a leap as a receiver but did manage to corral all seven of his targets for 45 receiving yards on the year. Edwards was especially valuable, though, on situations where the Ravens were facing third-and-short. Perhaps the most telling statistic of Edwards’ season is that he rushed for 46 first downs, just seven less than Ingram despite seeing 68 less carries.

Grade: B+

Justice Hill

Regular season stats: 58 attempts, 225 yards 3.9 YPC, 2 TD, 8 receptions, 70 receiving yards

Postseason stats: 4 receptions, 26 receiving yards

With Ingram and Edwards healthy for the majority of the season, rookie speedster Justice Hill was relegated to limited offensive snaps and kick returning duties. However, albeit in limited action, we saw glimpses of the traits that made Hill a popular draft selection, particularly at the tail end of the season.

In Weeks 16 and 17, Hill turned 13 carries into 58 rushing yards and two touchdowns - one from 19 yards out and the other coming in the red zone. In addition, Hill began to showcase his chops as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Hill caught four passes for 32 yards against the Browns and played a healthy dose of snaps in the postseason. As the Ravens attempted to comeback and score points in a hurry, Hill hauled in four receptions for 26 yards.

Despite a small frame, Hill showed toughness between-the-tackles at times, but could stand to get more consistent with his vision and awareness. Doing so and improving his pass protection will help him get on the field more next season.

Grade: C+

Pat Ricard

Regular season stats: 8 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD

“Project Pat” emerged as a mainstay on the Ravens offense this season and played a vital role in the team’s rushing success. Ricard’s blocking prowess and outright dominance at times made life easier for Jackson, Ingram and company, as he routinely opened up rushing lanes that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

He didn’t receive any carries on the year but did catch eight passes for 47 yards a touchdown, which he recorded in Week 1 against the Dolphins. Ricard’s impact obviously goes far beyond the box score, though.

Ricard was rewarded by the Ravens with a two-year contract extension at the beginning of December. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a player who became a regular inactive towards the end of the 2018 season.

The versatile fullback was recognized for his strong season with a Pro Bowl nod, which was well-deserved and the first of his career - and likely not the last.

Grade: A