It’s time to grade the Ravens after their 37-33 loss at Oakland on Sunday. We begin with the offense, which put up 33 points on the road:
Joe Flacco finished 32-of-45 for 382 yards, 7 yards shy of his career high, and a pair of touchdowns. Flacco engineered an impressive 93-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 30, but then a later drive stalled when Flacco’s pass for Steve Smith in the end zone sailed a bit high and Smith couldn’t come down in-bounds. Flacco made too many back-foot throws, and the Ravens also had too many drives end with field goals.
RUNNING BACKS: B
The Ravens averaged 4.4 yards a carry, with Justin Forsett gaining 68 yards on 15 carries and Lorenzo Taliaferro running seven times for 34 yards and a touchdown. Forsett converted a fourth-and-1 and later a third-and-15, and both of those drives ended with points. Forsett (4), Taliaferro (3), Buck Allen (1) and Kyle Juszczyk (1) also totaled nine receptions, though the group averaged only about 4 yards a catch.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B+
The Ravens tackles were much improved, with James Hurst and Rick Wagner holding the edges far better than they did against the Broncos. Flacco wasn’t sacked at all and was officially hit just once. The Ravens run blocking was much improved as well, although third-and-short remains a struggle. The Ravens did have one forgettable sequence with back-to-back false starts (one by tight end Crockett Gillmore) and Kelechi Osemele was flagged for holding twice.
TIGHT END: A-
Crockett Gillmore had the most productive day of his career, with five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns, but he did almost all of his damage in the first half. Gillmore carried three Raiders to the end zone on his second touchdown. But Gillmore had just one catch after halftime. Rookie Maxx Williams finished with one catch for 8 yards.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B+
Steve Smith (10 catches, 150 yards) was a one-man wrecking crew, and in fact for much of the game he was the Ravens only receiver option. During one stretch, Flacco didn’t even bother looking at any other receiver. Kamar Aiken (5-89) rebounded well after he fumbled away the Ravens first offensive play. Marlon Brown (2-12) wasn’t much of a factor, and it remains curious that the Ravens don’t try to take advantage of his size in the red zone. The Ravens did try to go to 6-6 rookie Darren Waller in the red zone, but he couldn’t get open and looked timid. And has anyone seen Michael Campanaro? The speedy slot receiver wasn’t targeted at all.