Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position notes for Ravens’ 16-14 win over Steelers

Here’s how the Ravens ranked at each position after a 16-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s Week 14 game at Acrisure Stadium.


Two Ravens quarterbacks combined to complete just 11 of 17 passes for 104 yards, but they did what they had to do to get the win. Starter Tyler Huntley went 8-for-12 for 88 yards and rushed nine times for 31 yards to get the Ravens out of multiple traffic jams. Backup Anthony Brown completed just 3 of 5 passes for 16 yards after replacing Huntley, who went into concussion protocol after taking a big hit in the third quarter, but it’s tough for a quarterback to third string of having chemistry with the starters when he hasn’t taken rehearsals with them during the week. Rating: C-

Running backs

The Ravens hammered one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL into submission. Pittsburgh couldn’t contain running back JK Dobbins, who had 120 yards rushing on 15 carries in his first game since Oct. 16, or backup Gus Edwards, who had 66 yards on 13 attempts. They topped the Steelers in the fourth quarter and closed out the game as Pittsburgh knew what was coming. Rating: A

offensive line

Let’s get rid of the bad stuff first. The Steelers had two sacks and they hit Huntley and Brown four times in total. There were times when Pittsburgh forced Huntley out of the pocket early, but the Ravens dominated Pittsburgh up front, especially left guard Ben Powers and left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Center Tyler Linderbaum and right guards Trystan Colon and Ben Cleveland, replacing injured starter Kevin Zeitler, managed to control tackle Cameron Heyward. Rating: A-


Due to Huntley’s ability to move around in the pocket, he was able to find receivers in the field on miss plays. Demarcus Robinson had five catches for 52 yards, while tight end Mark Andrews had two catches for 19 yards and veteran DeSean Jackson added two catches for 34 yards. The Ravens seem to be in sync with Robinson when it comes to executing quick-out or hitch-out patterns. Robinson had a 23-yard catch and Jackson added a 25-yard reception, which helped open up the running game. Rating: C

defensive line

Inside linebacker Roquan Smith gets a lot of credit for improving the Ravens’ defense, but this group was exceptional and improved both Smith and weakside linebacker Patrick Queen. Tackles Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington and end Calais Campbell do a great job holding or scraping offensive linemen to free Queen and Smith to run and strike. Campbell finished with four tackles and Washington had two. Pittsburgh only had 65 yards on 20 carries. Rating: A


Queen and Smith had interceptions in the first half, which stopped Pittsburgh drives in the Ravens’ 25. Both players have shown good hands, especially Queen, who have given up several potential interceptions in the past. Smith and Queen each finished with six tackles, and outside linebackers Jason Pierre-Paul and Tyus Bowser held the advantage well on run plays. Bowser only had one tackle, but it was a sack. Pierre-Paul finished with four tackles. Rating: A


The Ravens are happy to have safety Marcus Williams back in the starting lineup after missing several games with a hand injury. Williams’ interception at the 1-yard line on a deep pass ended a Pittsburgh drive late in the third quarter, giving him four team-leading picks this year. But Pittsburgh victimized cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was on the outside for most of the game, exposing his lack of speed. Cornerback Marcus Peters was solid in his coverage but unwilling to get tough in running support or tackle after short passes. Rating: D

Special teams

Justin Tucker converted field goal attempts from 42, 35 and 30 yards to become the Ravens’ all-time scoring leader and Campbell blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt from Chris Boswell after the Special teams coach Chirs Horton moved him to the “A” gap to get closer to the kicker. The Ravens averaged 19.3 yards on three kickoff returns but couldn’t get a big comeback from Devin Duvernay or Justice Hill. Rating: A-


The Ravens needed this type of victory against a good, physically tough team. They accepted the challenge and overcame a lot of adversity throughout the game. The inside blocking combination was good and offensive coordinator Greg Roman deserves a lot of credit for the scheme. Defensively, the front seven was good again, but the Ravens allowed 329 passing yards and a five-play 79-yard streak late in the fourth quarter that lasted just 49 seconds. It’s too easy. Category B


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