Ravens report card: Offense

Ravens report card: Offense
September 16, 2013, 11:30 am
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Marlon Brown 'blessed' to be apart of Ravens receiving corps

The test is over, and it's time to pass out the grades to the offense after the Ravens' 14-6 win over Cleveland. The Ravens overcame a scoreless first half to escape with a win. The report card, please ...


Playing an hour or so after his son was born, Joe Flacco was 22-for-33 for 211 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His receivers didn't help early in the game; Ed Dickson dropped the first throw of the game, and Marlon Brown had a potential touchdown throw slip through his fingers. In the second half, Flacco was 10-for-12, including six of his first seven third-down throws. Other players say there was never a sense of panic from Flacco despite being shut out in the first half.


The Ravens had a hard time getting any big plays against the Browns tough front seven. The Ravens averaged less than 3 yards a carry (36 rushes, 99 yards). Ray Rice had a  14-yard run, the longest of the game, to start the second half, but other than that he had 22 yards on 12 carries and lost a fumble. Bernard Pierce ran hard and shouldered the load in the fourth quarter after Rice went down with a hip injury. He finished with 19 carries for 57 yards.


The line probably deserved a D in the first half, but a B in the second half for the way the Ravens were able to run the ball against a pretty tenacious front seven. Flacco was sacked twice, both in the first half, with rookie Barkevious Mingo blowing by Bryant McKinnie on one of them. Even when the Browns knew the Ravens were going to run in the second half, the line got enough push to move the chains or set up third-and-reasonable.


When Billy Bajema (one catch, 18 yards) is the highest-producing tight end, something is definitely off-kilter. The tight ends have been a major component of the passing game, but that wasn't the case yesterday and might not be going forward if they can't produce. John Harbaugh praised Ed Dickson for his blocking, but Dickson dropped the first pass of the game and wasn't targeted again. He also was flagged for a holding penalty. Dallas Clark had one catch for 8 yards. Flacco targeted the tight ends 17 times at Denver, but just three times against Cleveland.


Torrey Smith led the way with seven catches for 85 yards, and Marlon Brown (4-45) had his second touchdown catch in as many games. Brown, though, did have a potential long touchdown pass in the first half go right through his fingers. Brandon Stokley caught four passes for 36 yards and filled his move-the-chains role well. All four of his grabs came on third down, and three of them resulted in first downs.