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Ravens vs. Patriots report card - 12/23/13

It was surprising to see the Ravens lose at home to a Patriots team that, frankly, is injury-riddled and not as talented as Baltimore. It was stunning to see how much New England dominated the game, and now the Ravens are backed into a corner again in terms of their playoff hopes heading into the season finale.

Quarterbacks: Joe Flacco's knee may or may not have bothered him, but it shouldn't have affected his decision making. He consistently took deep shots into double coverage, putting the Ravens behind in terms of down and distance. He had too many turnovers, too many poor decisions and played one of the worst games of his career. Grade: F

Running backs: Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce ran hard and had success against one of the worst run defenses in the league, but the Ravens didn't stick to the ground game. Rice also showed signs of being a factor in the passing game for the second straight week. Grade: B

Wide receivers: Flacco's inaccuracy and poor decisions with the ball never really gave the receivers a chance to make plays. At the same time, the Patriots had injuries in their secondary and it seemed like the Ravens receivers had big problems creating separation. Grade: C-

Offensive line: This group pretty much dominated the line of scrimmage, but the inability of the Ravens offense to get into any rhythm didn't allow them to take advantage. Grade: B

Defensive line: Has anyone seen Terrell Suggs? How about Elvis Dumervil? Where was the pressure? Tom Brady had all day. It didn't help that the Ravens were giving up chunks of yards on the ground, keeping the Patriots out of lon yardage situations. Grade: D

Linebackers: Daryl Smith was exposed in pass coverage when matched up against New England's small, quick receivers. There were also far too many missed tackles, and the Ravens were ineffective getting to Tom Brady when they did blitz. Grade: D

Secondary: Jimmy Smith got called for a bogus pass interference call that really started the ball rolling down the hill. In general, this group didn't play poorly, but also didn't make any plays. Matt Elam has to be better in coverage. Grade: C

Special teams: Jacoby Jones was held in check for the first time in weeks. Justin Tucker was never a factor with the Ravens unable to move the ball and falling so far behind. Sam Koch had a solid but unspectacular day. Grade: C

Coaches: Bill Belichick had his team ready to play; John Harbaugh certainly did not, which is hard to fathom given the stakes. The Patriots offense just picked the Ravens apart. The Ravens continue to be an undisciplined group that kills themselves with penalties, and they had to take two timeouts in the first half to get the right personnel on the field. The Ravens have far more talent than the Patriots, especially given their injury situation. The decisions in short yardage were atrocious, and while the game wasn't particularly close, Harbaugh's thought process was once again poor and costly. Grade: F

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