It’s time to hand out report cards after the Ravens’ 28-27 loss to the Raiders.
The good news is that the running game finally found its legs. So did Joe Flacco who spent much of the game running for his life...
It's time to hand out some grades:
The numbers for Flacco were decent – 32 of 52 for 298 yards and a touchdown, but it was hard for him to get into any rhythm with the Raiders rush bearing down on him on seemingly every play.
He threaded some nice throws, but Flacco also made some poor throws when he did have time. Flacco powered in for a touchdown on 4th-and-inches, his second rushing touchdown of the season.
RUNNING BACK: B
Give Terrance West credit: He backed up the talk.
West spoke early in the week about how it was hard to get into a rhythm with limited work, seemingly lobbying to be a featured back.
With Justin Forsett benched, West got that chance and ran for a career-high 113 yards on 21 carries. It was easily the Ravens most successful running performance of the season. And as West suggested he would, he got stronger as the game went on, rushing for 87 yards in the second half. Buck Allen (3-13) saw his first action of the season, and Kyle Juszczyk played a big role as a receiver, with six catches for 56 yards.
OFFENSIVE LINE: D+
The Ravens patchwork line was overmatched by the Raiders pass rush.
Joe Flacco was sacked twice, hit six times and rushed and flushed from the pocket frequently. The line was flagged for six penalties – two each for James Hurst, Ryan Jensen and Jeremy Zuttah. But the new left side of the line wasn’t the only issue; Rick Wagner was beaten on one of Flacco’s sacks, too. Flacco fumbled on one of the sacks, which set up a Raiders touchdown drive.
At least the Ravens run game got going, averaging 5.0 yards a carry, and the line got good surge on Flacco's sneak for a touchdown.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B-
Steve Smith continues to amaze. Smith finished with eight catches for 111 yards, and his 37-year-old. Achilles-repaired legs outran the young Raiders secondary for an outstanding 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Mike Wallace had four catches for 44 yards and caught a two-point conversion, but his inexcusable taunting penalty left the Ravens kicking off from the 20 right after taking the lead. Not good. Breshad Perriman caught three passes (24 yards) but again dropped one in his hands over the middle. Does he hear footsteps? That is three drops in the past two games.
And rookie Chris Moore had perhaps the biggest drop, clanking one off his fingertips on the Ravens final possession. Had he caught it, the Ravens might have been close enough to let Justin Tucker try to win the game from 60 or 61 yards.
TIGHT END: C
Dennis Pitta (3-17) was quieter than usual, but Flacco also misfired badly to him on one late throw.
Crockett Gillmore was more involved, perhaps to help with protection, and he finished with two catches for 16 yards. Maxx Williams left the game early with a knee injury, though he remains a non-factor in the offense this season.