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One Winning Drive: Ravens 36, Eagles 7: Grading the Ravens

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Quarterback: B

Joe Flacco had a fine game. His first half was shaky and he looked a step behind, but so did both offenses. By the second half, Flacco was making his reads and finding his targets. His pass to Wilcox in the endzone was a beaut, but it was the pass to Clayton, burning a slant, that really finished the game for the Ravens.

Runningbacks: B

Le’Ron McClain bullied the Eagles. He ran over their line and linebackers, and made moves to run around them when he had to. Ray Rice had moments, but a fairly disappointing day overall. Willis McGahee is starting to look like Jamal Lewis in 2004 and 2005 - something is missing. As a unit, however, the backs did their job: They kept the Eagles offense and eventually created passing lanes for Joe and his receivers.

Wide Receivers: C-

There were a number of nice catches and runs in the game, but this unit was invisible for most of the game. There were several plays where Flacco managed to create time, buckets and buckets of time for himself, and yet still had no one to throw to. Generally, the rule is that after five seconds, any WR in the league should be able to find an open space. Apparently our receivers don’t play by the rules.

Offensive Line: B+

For the patchwork group they were, they did a fine job. In the running game, especially, the line dominated. In the passing game they did their best to keep the pressure off of Flacco with varying degrees of success.

Defensive Line: B

The Ravens front did its job: They shut down Brian Westbrook and the Eagles running game. It was not the toughest challenge they’ve had all year, though, given Westbrook’s injury and the Eagles own admission that, if the run is not working, they are happy to pass.

Linebackers: A

Ray Lewis and Company blitzed and blitzed and blitzed. They did it so well, you may have thought that bringing the house is part of the Ravens SOP. Truth is, the heavy blitzes that the Ravens were sending at McNabb and Kolb were fairly unusual for this team. Lewis and Jarrett Johnson both had stellar games forcing McNabb and Kolb to throw early or throw on the run.

Defensive Backs: A+

Not sure of the last time the Ravens defensive backs got anything close to an A in our report cards. Between four interceptions and all-around solid play, this group looked young and fresh. Everyone had something to contribute - even if Corey Ivy missed another sack. It was a pleasure to see that our corners remember how to play the ball.

Special Teams: C-

Kick-off coverage cost the Ravens a shutout, which is downright unacceptable. And the return units - namely Yamon Figurs - are still having trouble. But Sam Koch was kicking the **** out of the ball and Stover connected on two 40-plus yard field goals.

Coaching: B+

Rex Ryan’s plan of attack by the Ravens defense worked to perfection. Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh made the necessary adjustments to the offense at halftime. This team seems to get better as the game goes on, which is a credit to this coaching staff. They make changes when they have to, they know how to motivate their players, and most importantly, they are critical of themselves as much as anyone else.

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I don't see any similarities between Heap and Taylor... a few dropped passes by Heap this year does a Travis impersonator make.


The return of Wilcox should help our TEs get free of the line a bit, I think.

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