Ravens offensive line rises to challenge of Lions

Ravens offensive line rises to challenge of Lions
December 17, 2013, 9:45 am
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Ravens players praise Tucker's late-game heroics

Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) celebrates with guard Marshal Yanda (73) after kicking a 61 yard field goal during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Baltimore Ravens defeated the Detroit Lions 18-16.

(Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Did the Ravens gash huge holes in the Lions defensive line? Did Joe Flacco emerge from Monday’s game completely unscathed? The answer to both questions is no, but you still have to give the Ravens offensive line credit for its overall performance in the 18-16 victory over the Lions.

The running game picked up 90 yards on 21 attempts, which isn’t outstanding, but shows improvement over some recent efforts, especially in the context of going against Detroit’s inside tandem of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. The Lions are fourth in the league against the rush and were giving up a little under 4 yards a carry heading into Monday’s game. Ray Rice had 56 yards on 12 carries.

Later in the game especially, the Lions got pressure on Flacco, but they still ended up with just one sack. Several of Flacco’s connections with his receivers came on crossing routes, which can take longer to develop, so the line gave him time.

"I thought our offensive line played great," coach John Harbaugh said. "Against that pass rush and that front, we ran the ball effectively as we needed to and we pass protected extremely well."

Center Gino Gradkowski praised his teammates, especially guards Marshal Yanda and A.Q. Shipley.

"They have a great defensive line," Gradkowski said (via The Sun). "I think Marshal and A.Q. did a great job with those guys. We just battled all game. I think we fought hard and we pulled out the win, which was the most important thing."


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