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Ravens vs. Texans: Report card for Week 1

How do the position groups grade out?

NFL: SEP 10 Texans at Ravens Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Week 1 in the books and a double-digit win secured, the grades are in. Despite how the scoreboard and the Ravens record (1-0) look, the grades don’t look as awesome.


Quarterback: C

Lamar Jackson played his first football game since November of 2022 and got the win. He also seemed to gain rhythm at the end while shaking off rust. If not for that, this grade would be lower. Jackson fumbled twice, losing one and threw a bad interception. His rating was a 79.5 and his QBR a 13.6. In a bad day for AFC North quarterbacks, Jackson wasn’t spared.

Running Backs: B-

J.K. Dobbins electric diving score and Justice Hill stepping up for two more keep this grade up. Beyond that, the run game left much to be desired. Barely over 100 yards on the grade and under a 4.0 yards per carry team average, not a single back broke one off for 15 or longer. While offensive line carries a large share of blame, the outlook on this group with Dobbins done for the season will be watched.

Fullback: B+

Pat Ricard didn’t have a heavy role but he played a ton in the second half and helped a struggling offensive line. He slammed Will Anderson to open up a lane for longest run of the game for Jackson. We still wait to see what Ricard’s role will look like in Monken’s offense.

Wide Receiver: A-

Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and Odell Beckham combined for 14 catches and 150 yards. Considering the struggles elsewhere, that’s a big boom. Each had their own massive plays and Flowers especially shined in his debut with nine catches to himself and showed off some of that electric movement that makes him special. The sky is the limit for this group once Jackson has time to throw.

Tight Ends: D+

It was quietly disappointing day for Isaiah Likely, who had one catch for four yards in Mark Andrews’ absence. Considering his performance last year, a big day over the middle of the field could have helped a struggling offense. Charlie Kolar had a massive drop on his only target as well.

Offensive Line: D

While Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum going down didn’t help the offensive line, they didn’t look great before either. Jackson had no time to throw all game. He was constantly pressured and got hit way too many times for one game. The line also didn’t make any hay on the ground either with the run game struggling.

Still, they managed to make whole for the rushing touchdowns, and that keeps this grade from an F.


Defensive Line: B-

It wasn’t as consistent as we would have liked, but the defensive line stayed in Stroud’s face all game and kept the entire Texans’ team to under 100 yards rushing. Penalties were a struggle but this unit should still be one of the best underrated lines in the NFL in 2023.

The worst part was Travis Jones’ roughing the passer penalty for hitting Stroud on a third-and-long after the ball was out of his hands. There was no reason for it and it turned a would-be punt into field goal drive.

Outside Linebackers: B+

After lots of worry preseason, this group was one of the best on the team on Sunday. Odafe Oweh was a force all game long, stout in the run game and laid three QB Hits on Stroud. David Ojabo got another strip sack. Clowney was in the backfield. Improvements need to be made and harder tests await but for now, it was a good performance.

Inside Linebackers: A+

Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen were everywhere. Both notched a sack and both notched double-digit tackles. Roquan Smith broke Ray Lewis’ franchise record for most tackles on an opening day game. The defense goes how they go.

Cornerbacks and safeties: C

Bundling this group together because both were very average. No outstanding plays and no massive blown coverages. This unit is going to cause anxiety. They face a strong test with the Bengals’ receiver core next week. Marlon Humphrey may not be back and Marcus Williams may be done for the season. Guys like Kyle Hamilton, Brandon Stephens and Ronald Darby need to step up in a big way.

Special Teams

Kicking: A

What needs to be said about Justin Tucker? 100% on his lone field goal attempt and two extra points. Casual day at the office for the greatest ever.

Punting: A+

I don’t know what extra work Jordan Stout did this offseason but it worked. He had a so-so year rookie year with some magnificent punts and some really bad ones. There was a lot of pressure for a fourth-round punter coming into year two and he nailed it. Stout looked like an All-Pro and boomed every kick. Five punts, averaged 49.8 yards, three landed inside the 20 and had a long of 68 yards. He single-handedly made sure the offense’s rough start didn’t screw the defense.

Honorary Category

Injuries: F-

Another Ravens’ season, another inexplicable case of the injury bug. Despite massive changes to staffing, practice schedules, and routines over the past two years, they can’t avoid it.

Dobbins had his second season-ending injury in three years, an Achilles tear on a weird tackle, just like his ACL tear. Marcus Williams may have a torn pec, though the outlook on that may be better considering he had minimal pain and full range of motion. Offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum also went down with injuries and we await tests to see the results. We haven’t gotten the Monday update from John Harbaugh yet but the hope is Williams, Stanley and Linderbaum will only miss a couple of weeks each.