Ravens report card at Bears

Grading the Baltimore Ravens in their 23-20 overtime loss at the Chicago Bears.

Quarterback: The wind played a factor in Joe Flacco’s second straight game of being held under 200 yards. He also didn’t get much protection on his blind side and had some clutch throws dropped. But Flacco looked bad on both of his interceptions. It’s surprising that Flacco didn’t see a 6-foot-4 defensive end on the one pick that was returned for a touchdown. His second one was forced into tight coverage to Dallas Clark down the seam. Flacco’s best pass was threading a 5-yard touchdown throw to Torrey Smith in an extremely tight window. Grade: C.

Running backs: Ray Rice wasn’t exactly the same Ray Rice but he had his best game of the season by exploiting the NFL’s second-worst run defense. He ran with more determination than he’s done all season, although his burst still isn’t up to his old standards. Rice finished with 131 yards rushing, which are 57 more than he’s had in a game this season. After running for 47 yards on his first carry, Rice didn’t have another gain over 13 yards the rest of the game. His biggest mistake was failing to get defensive end David Bass on the ground with a cut block, allowing the rookie to pick off Flacco for a touchdown. Bernard Pierce didn’t have a good feel for where the holes were, a big reason why he averaged 1.8 yards per carry (18 yards on 10 carries). Grade: B-plus.

Wide receivers/tight ends: Torrey Smith was limited to 32 yards receiving (second lowest of the season) and 6.4 yards per catch (his lowest since the fourth game of his rookie season). Some of that was the result of strong wind gusts, but Smith has faded this month. It’s strange to say that for a receiver who has had touchdown catches in back-to-back games. Clark is no Dennis Pitta, but he comes up with big-time catches. His fourth-down reception was the biggest play on the game-tying drive at the end of regulation. Is it me or have half of Clark’s receptions been one-handed this year? Tandon Doss and Ed Dickson had drops. Grade: C-minus.

Offensive line: The run blocking was the strongest it’s been all season, and Rice commented that he hasn’t seen such big running lanes this season. It was the best game for left guard A.Q. Shipley. The same can’t be said for left tackle Eugene Monroe. He was beaten for two sacks by Julius Peppers, who had two sacks in his previous nine games. Right guard Marshal Yanda had two penalties, one of which took the Ravens out of field-goal range early in the second quarter. Center Gino Gradkowski’s shotgun snap in the mud on third-and-goal hurt the Ravens’ last chance to win the game in regulation. Grade: C.

Defensive line: Not sure how much the Ravens missed Haloti Ngata (knee) because the Bears attacked the edges with their running game more than up the gut. It’s hard to remember any impact plays from this group other than Art Jones’ stop of Matt Forte on third down early in the game and a quarterback hit by Chris Canty. The line was simply a nonfactor. Grade: C.

Linebackers: Terrell Suggs finished with a season-worst one tackle and missed a tackle on Matt Forte which led to a 15-yard gain on the opening drive. He gets paid to get to the quarterback and he finished with no sacks and no quarterback hits. Elvis Dumervil didn’t have a tackle for the second time in three weeks. It wasn’t a smart play when he shoved Josh McCown to the ground after he threw the ball, which drew a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter. Daryl Smith had only six tackles and had a critical miss on Forte on the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth. Grade: F.

Secondary: The cornerbacks were physical for a second straight week. Jimmy Smith stepped up after a penalty in the end zone to break up two passes on that same drive, which forced a field goal. Lardarius Webb was solid in run defense and did all he could on that 43-yard pass in overtime to tight end Martellus Bennett, who simply had more size. What the secondary failed to fix was letting Alshon Jeffery go uncovered on shallow crossing routes. It happened twice, including a third-down play in overtime. Grade: B-minus.

Special teams: Justin Tucker is the team’s MVP. He hit a 52-yard field goal in windy conditions and came through with a 21-yarder in the mud to send the game into overtime. The Ravens kept dangerous returner Devin Hester in check, holding him to a 28-yard kickoff return. The Ravens didn’t get much out of their return game either, besides a great hit by fullback Kyle Juszczyk when he was returning a kickoff. And when it came to mistakes, it was the Bears committing the penalties on special teams. Grade: B-plus.