Week 15 – Ravens Recap & Grades

Packers 31, Ravens 30 : Week 15 – Recap & Grades : Offense – This group had a great day, as Tyler Huntley commands the Offense for the 2nd consecutive week & once again looks great in doing so. He passes for 215 yards & 2 TD’s, also runs for 2 TD’s on the ground & gains 73 yards on 13 carries, an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Latavius Murray rushes for 48 yards, an average of 6.9 yards per carry. Mark Andrews hauls in 10 receptions for 136 yards, an average of 13.6 yards per reception & 2 TD’s, while Marquise Brown also hauls in 10 passes but for only 43 yards, an average of 4.3 yards per catch. The Offense was hitting on all cylinders & looked great for the 2nd consecutive week, mixing up the run & the pass effectively all night long & taking what the Defense gave them. The pass protection was pretty solid despite being short handed, allowing Huntley to operate but also allowing him to get the ball out quickly most of the time, which was a good job by the coaching staff to give the Offense a boost against a good Green Bay pass rush that only registers 1 sack. This group also scored 30 points for the first time in over a month, after scoring 22 last week, most of them coming in the 2nd half alone. Tyler Huntley gives this team the best chance to win right now & is more than capable of running this Offense no matter how long Lamar Jackson is out. Losing by going for 2 again hurts, but given the way this Offense had all the momentum you get why the 2-point attempt was made. It’s not the decision to go for 2 that was the issue, it’s the play call that cut off 3/4 of the field.
Grade : A-
Defense : This group fought for the entire game despite being extremely short handed. Led by 13 tackles from Patrick Queen & some key stops on 4th down, they played their hearts out against an MVP candidate in Aaron Rodgers. They even got some help from the Packers mistakes like the 2 missed throws by Rodgers that he normally hits on & a few crucial penalties that went the Ravens way also. The secondary played well despite being down all but 1 of their current starters & the pass rush even showed up when needed, registering 3 sacks of Rodgers on the day. On paper, this Defense should of had no chance against Rodgers, especially the secondary that was in shambles the way it was but played like their hair was on fire all night led by guys like Geno Stone, who filled in for Chuck Clark, played every snap, wore the green dot & had this Defense not missing a beat. They do allow 31 points but it could have been more & w/ the personnel that was being employed is actually impressive. They were able to get stops using guys like Kavon Seymour, Robert Jackson, who was playing his first snaps all season, Jordan Richards & even had Anthony Levine, Sr. playing snaps defensively for the first time all season. Overall, this was an overachievement & deserves praise because nobody could have seen it coming. They showed what the heart of a Raven is & toughness that comes w/ being a part of this Defense. No matter the personel the mentality is the same & you could see that shining through & through in this game, it had to make every Ravens fan proud.
Grade : B-
Special Teams – Justin Tucker connects on his only FG attempt from 38 yards & Sam Koch punts it away only once all game, a 42 yarder. The kick coverage is solid against a unit in Green Bay that ranks last in the league in Special Teams, coverage wise & return wise. Devin Duvernay returns 4 kicks for 101 yards, an average of 26.3 yards per return, while allowing 76 return yards on 5 returns, including 47 by Amari Rodgers on 2 returns, an average of 23.5 yards per return. This unit does it’s job week in & week out & continues to do so, they are solid in every aspect consistently because of the continuity & familiarity that they have together. Most teams in this league don’t even have a solid kicker, let alone an entire unit that is reliable week in & week out. They have proven that they can be trusted when called upon & the culture seems to trickle down no matter who is snapping the ball or holding it. John Harbaugh’s resume as a Special Teams coach & the culture that he has brought to this unit since he has been here has always lept this team strong in this area during his entire tenure. Sometimes this group goes quiet, depending on what the Offense does but they stay ready & can always be a key weapon whenever they are called upon. Grading this unit from week to week is like grading a straight A student every semester.
Grade : A
Coaching – This was a good job by the coaching staff to prepare this team mentally for what they were going to face in a Green Bay team that is fighting to win the NFC & had a QB playing at an MVP level. Coach Harbaugh had the team ready to go as did the entire coaching staff, this tends to happen when there is a big game for this team as they seem to always play up to their competition & down to their competition but that’s a conversation for another day. The game plan was pretty solid & you can tell there was a real attention to detail & a strategic approach to what needed to be done. They realized what they were up against, prepared for it & game planned for it well despite a few mistakes here & there, this team played disciplined for the most part. The blame could lie on John Harbaugh for going for 2 again but in the grand scheme of things, you can understand why the call was made. The play call was the issue but the fact that the players backed up the call after huddling up to discuss it, let’s you understand how united this team is & what the adversity has done to bring this team even closer. All that being said, there still should of been a better play call but you like the fearlessness in the coaches to continue living on the edge & going for the throat instead of dying a slow death. This team has heart & continues to fight till the end, that’s the one bright spot in a season that has been a war of attrition.
Grade : B-
Overall Grade : B+