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Box score Callin 'em Out Week 4 grades First big win of the season, against a "ranked" opponent. Sloppy at times, but a decisive victory, led by the defense. Gonna try to make this a little shorter than usual; it's already time for the Texans game. Defense, B+: 57 plays, 287 yards, 15 first downs (9 passing, 4 rushing, 2 from penalty), 1/11 on third down, 1/3 on fourth down, 1/3 in the red zone, 3 turnovers, 13 points; aside from a couple of drives and a few penalties, the Ravens weren't doing much of anything Defensive front: The middle of the line got pushed back on some run plays, which led to a few big gains, and then there was the 29 yarder against the near prevent. Those five or six substantial run plays were annoying. The other 10 carries or so were pretty well shut down. The pass rush was on the job, collapsing the pocket, getting inside push, and making a mess of the Ravens pass game. The blitzes were well done, and of course, Bjoern got off the schneid (that's German, right?) A lot of people called for him to finally make it happen, and he did. B, much better pass rush, need to do better getting off blocks in the middle Pass defense: Davis is still the man, and he's making plays. The safety play was excellent, and Adams made some really good plays also. Freeman being back is great, but he got worked by Owen Daniels a couple times. The middle coverage was still exploited, for 153 of 235 yards. Underneath coverage was good, and we tackled well, mostly. Got called for some bogus penalties, again. Holding their passing game to 5.9 adjusted yards/attempt and no TDs is strong. Only three attempts went more than 20 yards downfield, and none of them connected. The staff talked about a "no fly zone" last year; this is it. B+, left side is still shut down, and if the pass rush works, the underneath stuff gets shut down, but the middle is still soft Offense, C+: 80 plays, 422 yards, 26 first downs (19 passing, 6 rushing, 1 from penalty), 7/15 on third down, 0/1 on fourth down, 2/5 in the red zone, 4 turnovers, 20 points; struggled taking care of the ball and with the ground game QB: Didn't necessarily come crashing down to earth, as he still made big plays and put it in the end zone twice, but the picks were very costly, and both avoidable. Neither was necessarily due to him throwing the ball to the defense; one he was hit on, the other was tipped. But he still either held the ball too long when he could have run, or he tried to force the ball to a well covered receiver. He beat himself up after both, because they were both bad decisions, and everyone knew it. But then the scrambles caught the Ravens off guard, and he threaded the needle in the short and intermediate game, getting chunks and scores when the time came. I thought he missed some end zone throws to Nicks and Wayne. This game was still better than the first two of the season, but not the star effort we saw recently. C, 9 picks last year, 6 picks through 5 games so far Backs / receivers / tight ends, C+: Running game: Better production than last week, and a few good carries, but also some lost opportunities by both backs by not finding the hole or being slow to get through it. That's the usual with Richardson, but Bradshaw seemed to make the same mistakes this week. Plus, he had the fumble with the game on the line. Both guys ran hard, broke several tackles (9 missed tackles, per PFF), got extra yardage, etc., the typical stuff. Just need to do better hitting the hole when it's actually there. C+, five carries out of 24 account for 52 of 105 rushing yards Passing game: Not as prominent in this game, but still productive. No dropped passes, no real mistakes. The penalties on Reggie wiped out some plays. I thought Nicks got robbed of a first down on the first drive. The pass protection allowed the guys to come open for some nice gains, with several for 20+.The comeback routes sometimes seem unstoppable. I'd like to see us hit some of those deep balls, but the Ravens seemed very disciplined with their coverage down the field. B-, need more immediate separation OL / blocking: The run blocking was up and down, but I thought there was some good push and some good holes at times. The upback carry by Bradshaw was really well done, with a nice block by the new starting center. The second level blocking wasn't very good, as we missed the linebackers on pulls and some screens. Some blitzes hurt us, so the line calls still need to be better. Cherilus and Thornton got beat on some pass rushes. Surprisingly, Fleener did a really good job pass blocking and run blocking. Harrison's mistakes are concerning, but hopefully they'll get better with more experience. C+, I didn't think the line suffered with Harrison, but I didn't think it was better, either Special teams: McAfee and AV were just as good as usual, and the punt and kickoff coverage was great. Whalen made a bunch of mistakes as a returner, which is the opposite of what he usually does. He can't keep the job if he doesn't secure the ball. B- Coaching / playcalling / game management, B: Really good defensive game plan, nice blitz schemes which seemed to work most of the time, the high/low coverage by Adams and Davis that led to the pick was a really good play call, and executed perfectly. Manusky seems to be putting the guys in better position. B+, still soft across the middle Offense sputtered, but I had no problem with the play calling. I don't like the sprint-outs; would rather see play action roll outs. I could probably complain about the pass:run ratio, but against a good run defense, I understand. B I didn't think the 4th down try was necessary at all. I think the points should have been more important. And that led to a failed challenge. It was early enough in the game that neither issue was a big deal, and the defense got the ball right back. No other real game management situations to consider. B- Game ball: Bjoern Werner, finally answered the call and took the QB down, and then did it again. Really good pass rushes throughout, had a few really good stops, and knocked a pass down. My favorite play was a run stop, where he showed the change of direction that we need our OLBs to have. I hope he can keep it going. Next, @ Houston on Thursday. JJ Watt will have something to say about the outcome of this game. GO COLTS!!!