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Ravens vs. Patriots final: Report card, grades

Hello, fourth quarter defense!

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) leave Gillette Stadium with a well-earned victory, defeating the New England Patriots (1-2), 37-26. Let’s take a look at the grades following today’s game.


Quarterback: A-

An excellent game today out of Lamar Jackson. He had a poor interception to Jonathan Jones early in the match but finished with five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing), and did so with a fourth-string left tackle making his first NFL start.

Running back: B

It wasn’t anything special today, with Justice Hill and J.K. Dobbins combining for 83 yards on 13 carries, but after two horrible games prior, this feels like a big-time win for the ground game.

Fullback: A+

My goodness did Patrick Ricard put a hat on a hat today. It felt as if every big gain on the ground was due to Ricard blowing up a linebacker.

Wide receivers: B+

Give Devin Duvernay all the credit, he’s been a dominant playmaker each and every week. Today was no different, with the 45-yard punt return and then going up for the fade-route touchdown.

Rashod Bateman had a poor fumble, but it was more a damn good play by Jonathan Jones to get his arm in-between Bateman and the football and pry out the ball after his reception. And, Bateman answered with a 34-yard scamper, shaking Jones out of his cleats along the boundary.

Tight end: A

A cool 89 yards and two touchdowns out of Mark Andrews today. Felt like he could’ve gone off for 150 yards had a couple more passes been easier to haul in. Nonetheless, Andrews crushed it, Josh Oliver caught his first touchdown pass and held up well when called on in the blocking game.

Offensive line:
Run Blocking: B
Pass Blocking: C-

Ravens fans and coaching staff are praying for left tackle Ronnie Stanley to return next week as they’re now down to their fourth-string left tackle Daniel Faalele, who did not play a snap at left tackle in college. He struggled to protect the edge and needed a blocker to help him contain the edge, be it a tight end or running back. The Patriots sacked Jackson four times, with Faalele being the reason for at least two of them. This will become exponentially more challenging with the pissed-off Buffalo Bills coming to town next week.

The run game was much improved today. I think the blocking had a part in that but mostly, the Ravens needed their running backs to follow their blocks and both Dobbins and Hill did so today.


Defensive Line: C-

The line struggled to bottle up the run, especially after defensive tackle Michael Pierce exited the field. Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson averaged 6.1 yards per carry and consistently hit the holes with a full head of steam.

The line didn’t appear to generate much in terms of pass rush, either. There were such high expectations after Week 1 and we haven’t seen the same in the past two games.

Outside linebackers: C-

Odafe Oweh has not done enough through three games. He’s struggled to contain the edge and has been blown past by running backs. He hasn’t generated much, if any, pass rush. The Ravens also lost Justin Houston in this game to a groin injury and are desperately hoping it isn’t even a short-term injury.

Inside linebackers: B

The interception by Josh Bynes brought this to an A. The missed pick six opportunity by Patrick Queen dropped it to a C. The solid play by Queen and the sack balance this out and bring the overall to a B, which I think is fair.

Cornerbacks: B

It doesn’t even feel so much on the cornerbacks than on the play calling and recognition from the defensive coaching staff that DeVante Parker went off today. Putting your rookie cornerback against a veteran of his ability seems silly. Especially when both Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are active. It was a strange choice to put Jalyn Armour-Davis on Parker early and then going with Brandon Stephens, who clearly struggled to do the same.

In the end, Mac Jones threw for 321 yards, with Parker going for 156 of them. But, three interceptions, with one each by Peters and Humphrey was excellent.

Safety: A-

That was one hell of a play by rookie Kyle Hamilton. He needed to make a play in this game and a punch-out fumble was excellent awareness. Another solid game by Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark looked good, too. They never let a deep play beat them.

Special Teams

Kicking: A-

Tucker hit the 56-yard field goal but missed a PAT. Thankfully, it wasn’t critical.

Punting: D

A 22-yard punt by rookie Jordan Stout in a critical spot. He needs to do better and I’m sure he would say that himself given the opportunity.