How did Flacco overcome offensive line issues?
It's time once again to hand out the grades to the offense after the Ravens' 20-17, overtime win over Cincinnati. And once again, there's a lot of red ink ...
The wind might have been a factor on some throws, but overall Joe Flacco struggled with accuracy and decision-making again. He finished 20-for-36 for 140 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. But he could have thrown four interceptions, and he also lost a fumble on a strip-sack. Some slants and quick routes were nowhere near their targets. The flea-flicker to Jacoby Jones resulted in a big pass interference penalty, but the ball was badly underthrown. Flacco's best play might have been rolling out, extending the play and threading the needle to Dallas Clark for a 1-yard touchdown.
RUNNING BACKS: D
Whether because of injury or age, Ray Rice appears to have nothing in the tank. He ran 18 times for 30 yards yesterday, rarely making anyone miss. He had a nice 13-yard catch in overtime but still was cut down in open space, which never used to happen. Bernard Pierce (8 carries, 31 yards) averaged nearly 4 yards a carry and showed some promise at times. For the second straight game, neither had a run longer than 9 yards. Both backs had issues pass blocking again.
OFFENSIVE LINE: D
Run blocking again was a problem, with the Ravens three running backs (Rice, Pierce, Vonta Leach) averaging about 2.3 yards a run. The linemen aren't opening any holes. Flacco was under the gun as well, sacked five times and hit six others. One interception was caused by Flacco having his arm hit as the pocket collapsed around him.
TIGHT ENDS: D
Dallas Clark caught the Ravens first touchdown for his only catch, but also dropped a third-down pass. Ed Dickson had a big sideline catch in overtime and finished with three catches for 28 yards. But once again both disappeared for large stretches of the game.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C
Torrey Smith made a strong touchdown catch and finished with five catches for 46 yards. But a deep ball went off his hands in the end zone, a fact he attributed to the wind. Jacoby Jones (two catches, 17 yards) was the intended receiver on the flea flicker that drew a long pass interference penalty and set up the Ravens first touchdown. Marlon Brown (1-10) was not much of a factor, and Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson each were targeted just once with no catches.