Tom Brady, Patriots offense too much for Ravens
It's time once again to grade the Ravens offense after its performance against New England on Sunday. Considering the Ravens never crossed midfield in the first half and suffered the most lopsided home loss in their history, 41-7, this might not be pretty. The report card:
Joe Flacco said the brace on his left knee was not a factor, but his play suggested otherwise. Flacco got nothing on a deep ball to Torrey Smith that was broken up because it was underthrown, and was intercepted on the next series when he underthrew Jacoby Jones. Flacco finished 22-for-38 for 260 yards, but the Ravens never crossed midfield in the first half when the outcome was still in doubt. Flacco also threw incomplete on a fourth-down pass into double coverage, failing to see an open Torrey Smith. His knee brace had nothing do with that decision-making.
RUNNING BACKS: C-
The Ravens three running backs -- yes, Bernard Scott made his Ravens debut -- did nothing spectacular, averaging 3.5 yards a carry, with none longer than 9 yards. Rice had two catches for 23 yards, but couldn't get a yard on fourth-and-one inside the Patriots 5-yard line.
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OFFENSIVE LINE: D+
The line again lost too many battles at the point of attack. The Ravens couldn't run for a yard on fourth-and-one, and short-yardage run blocking has been a major problem all season. Joe Flacco was sacked four times (three not counting his 'unassisted' Kyle Boller-esque fall) and was on the run a few other times, a dangerous proposition given his bad knee.
TIGHT ENDS: C-
Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson both ended up with four catches, but Pitta was nonexistent in the first half, and Dickson had one first-half catch. Pitta made a great sideline catch in the second half, but neither helped much early when the Ravens could get nothing going. One of Flacco's interceptions bounced off Pitta's hands.
WIDE RECEIVERS: D
This group had zero catches in the first half. Although Marlon Brown (4-51) and Torrey Smith (3-69) ended up with respectable box-score numbers, they vanished in the first half against a banged-up Patriots defense that also lost Devin McCourty during the game. They needed to step up for Flacco and failed to do so.