Ravens running back Willis McGahee flexes after scoring against… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
Joe Flacco managed the game well, and he went to his check-down receivers because the Dolphins didn't cover them. Some of the best plays Flacco made were the sacks he took because he didn't turn the ball over. Flacco has had about four games where cornerbacks drop interceptions that should be returned for touchdowns. He needs to stop rolling the dice.
Running backs: A
Ray Rice had 180 yards of offense, and he did a nice job of running to soft spots underneath Miami's coverage. It's hard to believe the Dolphins didn't shadow Rice or backup Willis McGahee, who had also had a good game as a receiver and runner. Fullback Le'Ron McClain threw some good blocks inside the tackles and even had five carries for 17 yards.
Offensive line: B
The Ravens opened some nice holes in the running game. Left tackle Michael Oher and left guard Ben Grubbs were good at the point of attack, and right tackle Marshal Yanda is excellent at pulling and trapping. But the Ravens had fundamental breakdowns at key points in the game, like failing to step play-side on the back side, and the pass protection also has to improve.
Miami played a lot of cover-2 and took away some of the deep stuff. The old guy, Derrick Mason, had four catches for 42 yards and both T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Anquan Boldin each had two catches. It was one of those games where the receivers didn't have to play a major part, but they did block well down field.
Defensive line: C+
Tackle Haloti Ngata played well and fellow tackle Kelly Gregg had some strong moments. But the Ravens let the Dolphins get to their legs a lot in this game, and it cut down on their pursuit. If the Ravens want to make a serious run down the stretch, young guys like Paul Kruger and Terrence Cody need to improve and starting end Cory Redding has to become more consistent.
Ray Lewis led the team in tackles with eight, but he missed several others. The Dolphins had success running the ball inside the tackles early, but they got away from it in the second half. Let's hear no more talk about Terrell Suggs and his lack of a pass rush. Without him, the Ravens don't even have a pass rush.
One of the best moves general manager Ozzie Newsome made was bringing in cornerback Josh Wilson, who should now start in place of Fabian Washington. Cornerback Lardarius Webb is still shaky at times, but he'll improve with more experience. Cornerback Chris Carr has been the most consistent player in the secondary this season.
Special teams: C+
Kicker Billy Cundiff converted on four field goals, but he missed one and the holder botched a snap on the other. The Ravens also fumbled the opening kickoff. The Ravens did manage an average of 23 yards on three kickoffs, and punter Sam Koch completed a pass on a fake punt for a first down in the third quarter.