This was the game we hadn’t waited for since Todd Monken was hired as the offensive coach. Lets see how the dominate win impacted the grade sheet.
The best performance from Lamar Jackson so far in 2023 and it was MVP caliber. He finished with a 155.8 rating and 95.0 QBR. 357 yards through the air with three scores and another 36 yards on the ground with a touchdown. While this won’t immediately jump him into the conversation of MVP, this performance combined with the Browns game and another soon should catapult him to the front of the conversation
Running Backs: A-
It’s still not perfect, but it was very good and should get better. With some struggles in the run game recently, this was a great bounce back performance from the group. Gus Edwards was steady averaging 4.6 yards a carry with 14 attempts and added an 80 yard catch and run to go with it. Justice Hill was explosive with 46 yards on four attempts. Keaton Mitchell even got his first offensive snaps and took a catch for nine yards. But he looked incredible fast and if healthy, should be a big factor down the stretch.
Hill’s fumble keeps this down at an A-, even if might not have been his fault with Jackson pulling the ball very late.
It was a flashy day for Ricard. Two catches for 31 yards, but this big one was a 28 yards rumble, which is the longest catch of Ricard’s card. Project Pat gets lost in the sauce sometimes but he’s a major part of what this team does, with or without Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator.
Wide Receiver: A
The best game as a group they’ve had all year. Everybody flashed. Zay Flowers went 75 on four catches including a massive 46 yard pitch and catch. Odell Beckham looks like he’s starting to get his legs under him, 49 yards on five catches including another one that had a run at the end of it like last week. Rashod Bateman flashed again with two impressive catches for 36 yards. And Nelson Agholor added another touchdown on the season.
This group is going to be dangerous.
Tight Ends: A+
Was anything else really expected? On National Tight Ends day, Mark Andrews had another great performance. Two touchdowns, 63 yards, all on four catches, which seems small considering how often his name was called. The few times the pass rush got to Jackson, Andrews bailed him out.
Eventually a discussion will need to be had about Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar’s usage, but for now, we ride.
Offensive Line: A
This was the best overall day for this unit as a whole. The Lions defensive front was the best part of their highly ranked defense coming into the game and they got manhandled. Multiple times when Lamar had all day to throw the ball and he was rarely pressured. When he was, he was capable of bailing himself out and didn’t take a sack all day.
More impressively, the Ravens line made plenty of holes on the run game, somethings that’s been a struggle all year. When the line plays like this, this team can put up 40 points whenever they want.
Defensive Line: A-
It was strength against strength today. The Ravens dominate line was matched up against the Lions offensive, which was likely a top three unit in the NFL. The Lions got bullied all day. They had less than 100 yards rushing all day. Everybody was piling into the backfield. The continued star is Justin Madubuike who added another sack and is likely going to end the year as a $90 million player in a contract year. And the Ravens should pay it.
Outside Linebackers: A+
This unit just continues to surprise and win every game. Kyle Van Noy threw in two sacks today. Odafe Oweh made his return and won violently all day, he came away with a strip sack to show for it. Jadeveon Clowney had a quieter game but played well. It seems somebody always steps up, while not being the same player. Pass rusher is a popular choice for a trade but they truly might be okay without.
Inside Linebackers: A-
Overall, it was a relatively quiet day for the dynamic linebacker duo. The highlight of the day from the group was Roquan Smith almost reeling in an endzone interception to shut the door on the opening drive of the second half. He got the pass breakup and just couldn’t get two feet down in the back of the endzone when the Lions went for it on a 4th and goal on the Baltimore 6 yard line. The Ravens would take over and go 94 yards to score a touchdown.
The non-A of the day, the Ravens mostly clamped the Lions receivers all day. Most of the yardage came in garbage time late but Amon-Ra St. Brown did finish with over 100 yards. Still it was a great day for the group with Humphrey, Stephens and Ya-Sin all having pass breakups, Stephens almost bringing one of his in for what would have been a one-handed interception.
What more can be said about Geno Stone? The backup has cemented himself as a starter in this league and with another interception, now leads the NFL by himself. Kyle Hamilton is still a menace at the line of scrimmage and one of the most versatile weapons in the league.
If the Ravens can get Marcus Williams healthy by Christmas Day to help with Deebo Samuel and 49ers and then Tyreek Hill and Dolphins the week after, there won’t be a better unit in the league. There might not be right now as is.
Again, just another casual day for Justin Tucker. He hit all five of his extra points and a 38-yard field goal on what proved to be a very windy day.
I’m going to say it every week. I will lead this charge. I’ve said it since Week 1.
Jordan Stout for All-Pro Punter. He had two punts, one was absolutely boomed for 57 yards. The other was 55. The kid is good and he’s got a massive leg to show for it.