Ravens report card for AFC championship against Chiefs

BALTIMORE — The Ravens’ season ended with a 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.


Quarterback — Quarterback Lamar Jackson never got into sync and completed 20 of 37 passes for 272 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the end zone when he threw into double coverage. He also ran for 54 yards and had a fumble when he was hit from behind. Jackson is still the leading candidate for NFL MVP but this was not one of his better performances.
Grade: C

Running backs — The Ravens never committed to the running attack and this hampered their overall performance. The Ravens ran the ball only 16 times — eight by Jackson — for 81 yards against a Chiefs team that allowed 182 yards rushing the previous week to the Buffalo Bills. The running backs received six carries — three each for Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.
Grade: D

Receivers — Rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers finished with five catches for 115 yards with a touchdown, but he made two costly mistakes that impacted the game. Flowers caught a 54-yard pass from Jackson but was penalized 15 yards for taunting after the catch. Flowers then fumbled just before crossing the goal line on an 8-yard pass from Jackson that was recovered by Kansas City in the end zone. Tight end Mark Andrews returned after missing the second half of the regular season with a knee injury and he caught two passes for 15 yards.
Grade: C-

Offensive line — The Ravens’ offensive line had mixed results dealing with the Chiefs’ interior pass rush. Jackson was sacked twice, but he had more time to throw in the second half. The offensive line did not have many opportunities to run block. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley left the game with a lower-body injury, but he returned.
Grade: C

Linebackers — Roquan Smith led the team with 16 tackles and Patrick Queen had nine. This unit had some struggles in intermediate pass coverage and did not get much pressure on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Jadeveon Clowney was hit with a roughing the passer penalty, and Smith was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter that helped Kansas City extend drives.
Grade: C

Defensive line — Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and nose tackle Michael Pierce combined for a half sack. Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco finished with 68 yards with a touchdown on 24 carries but was not a huge factor in the second half. A roughing the passer penalty on Travis Jones on the Chiefs’ final drive of the second quarter led to a 52-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.
Grade: B-

Secondary — The Ravens had no answer for Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who caught 11 passes on 11 targets for 116 yards, surpassing Jerry Rice for the most postseason catches in NFL history. Mahomes did not have a huge game statistically, going 30-for-39 for 241 yards with a touchdown, but he made several key plays on third down. Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey was back in the lineup from a calf injury but was shut down in the second half.
Grade: C-

Special teams — Jordan Stout bounced back from a disappointing performance last week against the Texans and averaged 50.2 yards on five punts. Justin Tucker converted a 43-yard field goal late in the game. Devin Duvernay had a 21-yard punt return that provided a spark. Coverage was solid.
Grade: A

Coaching — The Ravens had the league’s No. 1 rushing attack in the regular season, but offensive coordinator Todd Monken abandoned the run. Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald made effective adjustments at halftime by applying more pressure on Mahomes and held the Chiefs scoreless over the final two quarters. John Harbaugh gambled twice on fourth down by keeping the offense on the field and the Ravens converted both of those opportunities to extend drives.
Grade: C-

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