Report card-defense/special teams

Report card-defense/special teams
October 14, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Harbaugh on going for it on 4th and 1

The defense and special teams went a long way towards helping the struggling offense on Sunday, but it still wasn't enough as the Packers edged the Ravens, 19-17, at M&T Bank Stadium. Even though the defense couldn't stop Green Bay enough in the fourth quarter, they still played well overall. Here's a quick look with grades.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B-. The line got good pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers for much of the game and even though Eddie Lacy ran for 120 yards, almost half of that came on two big runs. Arthur Jones got a sack, and the defensive line really did keep Green Bay quiet on offense for much of this game. The problem is they couldn't do it on the final two drives, which let the Packers control the fourth quarter.

LINEBACKERS: B. Elvis Dumervil got two sacks while Terrell Suggs and Daryl Smith both finished with 10 tackles. They helped the front line keep Rodgers and the offense under control for most of the game. Smith missed on an interception but again seemed to be all over the field while Suggs keeps on with his "Yes, I'm back" season. 

SECONDARY: C+. They did well much of the game, but giving up the big touchdown to Jordy Nelson really hurt. Jimmy Smith's interception in end zone in the third quarter was a key play because it kept the Ravens close. Smith has been playing better this year and seems to be finding his way. But there's still problems with pass coverage at times. Whether or not these can be worked out will be a big question. 

SPECIAL TEAMS: B. This group had a little bit of everything. Jacoby Jones returned and was great on kickoff returns while Tandon Doss did the same on his lone punt return. They are turning into a dynamic duo back there. Justin Tucker nailed his only field goal try and again was strong on kickoffs. Sam Koch had some good punts, but one got blocked -- he had no chance -- and a second one nearly got blocked, so the blocking's got to be better.