We've already graded the offense after the Ravens' 15-13 setback to the Browns. Now we turn the attention to the defense and special teams. The report card, please ...
DEFENSIVE LINE: C
The Dolphins ran surprisingly well at the teeth of the Ravens defense. Lamar Miller ran for 113 yards and the Dolphins averaged 5.3 yards a carry on 26 runs. Timmy Jernigan recorded a couple of hits on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Jernigan and Lawrence Guy saw extensive time and neither recorded a tackle. Too often, the play simply got past them. Brandon Williams was quiet as well.
Daryl Smith had nine tackles and a sack, and the Ravens linebackers, particularly C.J. Mosley, were improved in pass coverage after being torched in the middle of the field by Cleveland last week. Zach Orr saw some more action as a coverage linebacker. Courtney Upshaw came up with the Ravens only fumble recovery, although the Dolphins at times got to the edge in the running game for some nice yardage.
Ryan Tannehill didn't help himself with some terrible throws, but the Ravens secondary was strong, holding Tannehill and the Dolphins to 86 yards passing -- with 38 coming on one play. The touchdown pass to DeVante Parker was a sensational grab as he leaped high above Lardarius Webb. The Ravens completely negated Jarvis Landry, holding him to two catches for 5 yards. Kendrick Lewis finished with five tackles and a big forced fumble that was recovered by Courtney Upshaw. But the interceptions continue to elude this group; the Ravens remain stuck on a league-low four through 12 games.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Sam Koch netted 46.4 yards on five punts and boomed a 67-yarder. Justin Tucker hit two field goals but missed another from outside 50. Granted, there was wind and rain, but he said he thought he hit it well. Tucker is now 2-for-8 from 50-plus this year. Kaelin Clay averaged 10 yards on four punt returns, and he looks like he's close to breaking another big one. The Ravens came up with another blocked kick, although this one, on an extra-point kick, was called back because of a penalty. Special teams penalties have been far too frequent all season.
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