Ravens report card: Offense

Ravens report card: Offense
November 18, 2013, 11:00 am
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Harbaugh: 'That was a difficult loss'

The latest test is over, and it's time to hand out the grades to the offense after the Ravens' 23-20, overtime loss at Chicago. The report card, please ...


For the second straight week, the weather was a factor for Joe Flacco and the passing game. Flacco finished 17-for-31 for 162 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. His two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, were his fault and huge mistakes. Although he rebounded from the pick-six with an 80-yard scoring drive, he couldn't get the Ravens into the end zone in the final minute. An elite quarterback finds a way to pull out close games, and Flacco has not done that very often this season. The Ravens are 2-4 in games decided by three points or less.


For the first time all season, Ray Rice looked like the Rice of old, with 131 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against the Bears' 31st-ranked run defense. But Rice whiffed on a block that led to the interception and touchdown return by defensive end David Bass. And Bernard Pierce got nothing going against the woeful Bears run defense, with 10 carries for just 18 yards.


The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage at times, something that has hardly happened all season. Guard A.Q. Shipley opened up a huge hole on Rice's 47-yard run on the opening drive, and the running game had its biggest holes of the season. The Ravens averaged a season-best 4.2 yards a carry. Flacco was sacked three times, with Julius Peppers beating left tackle Eugene Monroe for two of them, and Marshal Yanda was flagged for two penalties.


Dallas Clark kept the Ravens alive with a remarkable one-handed grab on fourth down on their final drive. He finished with two catches for 31 yards. Ed Dickson had one catch for 16 yards, but was targeted three times and the other two passes to him both hit his hands. He's got to make those catches.


The weather made life miserable for the receivers, but the Ravens didn't help themselves. Torrey Smith had a touchdown catch but was not a huge factor, with five catches for 32 yards. The Ravens looked for him on intermediate routes, which is a good thing. Tandon Doss (3-37) had an outstanding grab along the sideline but also had a costly third-down drop in overtime. Deonte Thompson had one catch in three targets but has not shown that he can consistently get open. The Ravens definitely missed Marlon Brown, who was inactive with a knee injury.