Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Ravens Reports Card: Week 1 vs. Steelers

The Baltimore Ravens just had their way with their hated rival.  There were many questions about the Ravens coming into this season, more than we a Super Bowl contender should usually have, but they answered them all in a 35-7 domination of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback – A

Joe Flacco has a tremendous game, threw some great passes, picked apart the tough defense, and put 35 points, finally beating a Ben Roethlisberger led Steelers. There wasn’t too much more Flacco could do better; while he did have a few bad throws he didn’t get picked off and never let it rattle him. The only thing keeping him from an A+ is that his defense shut the Steelers down and alleviated a lot of pressure from him as the game went on.

Running Backs – A+

Any time a team can run for 170 yards on the Steelers it’s an incredibly successful game. Ray Rice, who does historically do well against the Steelers, had 36 yards on the first play and it broke open from their. Rice finished the game with 107 yards and a 5.6 yards per carry average while Ricky Williams had 63 yards and a 5.3 yards per carry average. Vonte Leach missed a few passes but bulldozed his way to the second level to spark the running game.

Receivers – B-

If there is one thing after dominating the Steelers that we can look at that needs work it’s the receiving crop. Tight Ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta brought a new, speedy, vertical dimension to the middle of the field and Anquan Boldin had his way with Ike Taylor but Lee Evans was held without a catch and there were a few drops. Only three non-running backs left the game with a catch.

Offensive Line – A+

For not having much time at all in the preseason to gel the offensive line completely dominated the Steelers. While they did allow one sack they gave Joe Flacco plenty of time to do his thing and opened up huge lanes for the running backs. Matt Birk, with no preseason snaps, did a great job on Casey Hampton, Bryant McKinnie completely schooled James Harrison and made him a non-factor, and Michael Oher barely allowed LaMarr Woodley’s named to be called.

Defensive Line – A+

Haloti Ngata may have been the best player on the field yesterday, pressuring Roethlisberger every single time he went back for a pass and recovering two fumbles. Cory Redding also stepped up in a big way in run defense, helping limit Pittsburgh to only 66 rushing yards. Baltimore’s domination all started with the defensive line and their ability to be disruptive in the backfield.

Linebackers – A

Ray Lewis has lost a slight step, shown when Hines Ward ran right past him, but his knowledge of the game and instincts have more than made up for it. Lewis has six tackles in the game with a forced fumble and an interception. Terrell Suggs did what he always does getting to Roethlisberger for three sacks while Jarret Johnson made the hit of the game on Hines Ward coming over the middle.

Secondary – B

With an injury to Jimmy Smith on the opening kickoff and to Chris Carr later in the game Lardarius Webb was thrown in having to cover speedsters Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and for the most part he did very well, especially considering may people were writing him off before the season. Cary Williams had a very strong performance as a starter and Ed Reed was hit old self with two interceptions, at least one of which prevented a sure touchdown. The secondary didn’t allow any big plays but they did let Pittsburgh move the ball on them.

Special Teams – B

Billy Cundiff has a perfect game on extra points and field goals and Sam Koch averaged 47.2 yards per boot but a 34.3 yard average on three kickoff returns is something the Ravens are going to have to cut down. Their returning was not incredibly effective either as Webb didn’t move the ball at all on punt returns.

Coaches – A

The coaches got the Ravens ready to play in a big time game and didn’t let any history affect them. They moved the ball well, attacked the Steelers on defense and even without an offensive line coach that unit was incredible.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.