Ravens: Defensive report card

Ravens: Defensive report card
September 16, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Pass rush makes biggest difference vs. Browns

The defense carried the day in Sunday's 14-6 win over the Browns. Here's a brief report card on their efforts plus those of the special teams.

Defensive line: B. They made a lot of good plays and controlled the Cleveland offense. The Browns really made just one big play all day long. The Ravens rotated in a whole bunch of guys, and the Browns just couldn't find the answer overall. Arthur Jones had a sack in his first game back.

Linebackers: A. These guys really made a difference. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs got lots of pressure on quarterback Brandon Weeden all day long, the kind of thing that this defense really missed last year.  Daryl Smith had a solid game in many ways, and Josh Bynes did the same.The Browns aren't one of the NFL's top teams, but this was a very good effort.

Secondary: C. Still work to do here. Matt Elam got burned right off the bat, and the Browns had plenty of guys wide open during the game but Weeden either didn't have the time to find them or simply couldn't. The Browns moved the ball through the air a little too easily at times and if Weeden wasn't running for his life time and time again, he could've completed some big passes.

Special Teams: B-. Sam Koch punted very well, often pinning the Browns into bad spots and not giving up much in returns. He really blasted a few kicks. But Justin Tucker missed two field goals after missing just three all of last year. He was talking about having a perfect season during the off-season. Now, he's got to come back and be his old self after this. That's what the Ravens need. Tandon Doss made some nice returns to help the offense. Can he do it again?