The Ravens came away with a 37-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night.
It was an up-and-down game for the team, as certain players shined, while others showed improvement is needed.
Here’s an analysis of each position:
Joe Flacco had an average start, throwing for 113 yards and one touchdown. He was 9-for-17 and finished with a 93.5 quarterback rating.
The former Super Bowl MVP didn’t even get onto the field until three minutes left in the first quarter, though, as the Ravens scored two touchdowns from defense and special teams.
It was hard for the Flacco to find a rhythm, but he had a late 96-yard drive in the second quarter and capped it off with a nice pass to Torrey Smith for a touchdown.
It was a 19-yard touchdown catch from Smith and easily Flacco’s best pass of the night.
Tyrod Taylor did….well, what has always been expected of Tyrod Taylor. He ran around as usual and completed a couple of good passes.
The backup finished well statistically, completing six of eight passes for 59 yards and no turnovers, but he didn’t do anything to turn heads.
Kyle Wenning struggled in action, though, coughing up a fumble late in the game. He looked uncomfortable out there and looks to be a longshot to make the team if the Ravens choose to keep just two quarterbacks.
Ray Rice only got two carries in the game, but busted out for an 18-yard rush in his first run. He looks quicker than last season and is showing off the burst that he seems to have been missing.
Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro ran very well, combining 114 rushing yards. Each has a good bruising rushing style. Pierce will be the starter while Rice is suspended, but look for Taliaferro to cut into his carries, as he hits the holes hard and doesn’t run East-West.
There isn’t too much to say about the receiving core besides Smith’s touchdown catch, as Flacco couldn’t find a rhythm and then Taylor came in.
Jacoby Jones was the leading receiver for Baltimore, coming away with three receptions and 49 yards. It’s hard to judge the receivers when Taylor comes in though, so we’ll have to wait for Flacco to have more time with them next game.
The starting offensive looked impressive for the Ravens, as the zone blocking scheme opened up a lot of big runs.
Jeremy Zuttah looked good at center and seems to be a huge upgrade over Gino Gradkowski.
Ricky Wagner also continues to do well at right tackle, especially on running plays. He seems to have locked up the job and Ozzie Newsome may have proven to have found a gem once again (why do we ever doubt him).
Someone I want to point out on the line is DeAngelo Tyson, who is going to push for major playing time this season.
Tyson finished the game with two tackles and looked strong in the game. The former seventh round pick is yet another great find by Newsome and could be a factor for the Ravens if he continues to play this well.
C.J. Mosley continues to impress, finishing the game with five tackles. He’s got great speed and fills the holes well, which is what Baltimore saw when they drafted him.
Daryl Smith showed off what he normally does for the team and should be one of the captains of this defense.
Arthur Brown looked a lot better than last week’s game and finished the night with two solo tackles. It was good to see him break through blockers late in the game for a solid tackle, but he still has more room for improvement.
Courtney Upshaw had a 26-yard, fumble-return touchdown to open up the game, which got things going for the defense.
The Ravens only came away with one sack though, which came from Pernell McPhee. However, Terrell Suggs looked good and John Simon looked decent, besides one play where he was burned by the tight end.
Things got scary for the Ravens when Jimmy Smith left the game early with a bruised chest, but X-rays came back negative. Baltimore can’t afford to lose Smith, as Domonique Franks was dominated by Dez Bryant early on.
Chykie Brown also had his struggles, so Baltimore will want to keep Webb and Smith as healthy as possible.
Brynden Trawick played well, with an interception off of Brandon Weeden and strong play on special teams. He may be able to find a spot on this roster, especially because of injuries and his strengths on special teams.
Deonte Thompson stole the show, with a 108-yard kick-return touchdown in the first quarter.
Thompson averaged 62.7 yards per return and showed off elite speed. He has a shot at making the team solely because of special teams.
Justin Tucker converted three of four field goals, with the miss coming on a 61-yarder. No competition for Tucker though, as he’s one of the best kickers in the game.