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Packers vs. Ravens: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Baltimore

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 07: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 7, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Ravens 27-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Kristopher KnoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2013

The Baltimore Ravens managed to hang with the Green Bay Packers for much of Sunday's contest.

However, a few key plays and a couple of questionable decisions put a win out of reach in the closing moments of the game.

Final

Green Bay 19, Baltimore 17

 

Game Analysis for Baltimore                  

Pass Offense: Quarterback Joe Flacco had his moments, especially in the second half.

After completing less than 50 percent of his passes in the first half, Flacco rebounded nicely to finish the game 20-of-34 for 342 yards and two touchdowns.

While pass protection continues to be a concern, Baltimore performed decently in terms of passing.

Run Offense: It was another discouraging day for the Ravens' running game. Starting running back Ray Rice led the team with a mere 34 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Eleven of those yards came on a single play.

On all other runs, Rice averaged just 1.76 yards per carry, which was actually better than what backup Bernard Pierce was able to produce (1.5 yards per carry).

Pass Defense: The Ravens did a solid job of limiting Aaron Rodgers in the first half. However, the Packers quarterback was able to hit some big passes after halftime, including a 64-yard touchdown strike to Jordy Nelson.

Rodgers finished the game with 315 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was able to complete just 53 percent of his passes, but found a way to deliver the deep ball when it mattered.

Run Defense: The Ravens gave up too many rushing yards in the first half and couldn’t stop the Packers rushing attack when it needed to in the second.

Rookie running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries against the Ravens defense and helped put the game away in the second half.

Special Teams: It was a fairly average day for the Baltimore special teams unit.

Kicker Justin Tucker made his only field goal attempt and went 2-of-2 on extra points. Baltimore did have a punt blocked in the first half, but ended up recovering the loose ball to retain possession.

Coaching: Head coach John Harbaugh’s decision to pass up a field-goal opportunity in the first half proved to be very costly.

Had Harbaugh taken the three points, the Ravens could have been up by one point late in the fourth quarter instead of down by two.

The Ravens would have benefited from some semblance of a running game, but offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was not able to dial up enough creative plays to produce one.

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13:  Dallas Clark #87 of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled by Morgan Burnett #42 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter during a game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermot
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

 

First-Half Analysis for Baltimore              

Pass Offense:  Quarterback Joe Flacco has not been particularly efficient thus far. He completed just eight of 19 pass attempts (42 percent).

However, the Ravens receivers have been able to make things happen after the catch, allowing Flacco to gain 113 yards through the air.

Part of the problem has been pass protection. Flacco was pressured frequently in the first half, and the Packers finally hit home with a sack fumble right before halftime. This led to a second Mason Crosby field goal and a six-point lead for Green Bay.

Run Offense: Baltimore continues to struggle in the running game, which has to be a concern going into the second half.

Starting back Ray Rice rushed for just 13 yards on nine carries. This gives him an average of 1.44 yards per carry, which is not at all good.

Pass Defense: The Ravens did a fantastic job of pressuring Aaron Rodgers in the first half. The Packers quarterback was sacked three times and fumbled twice, though neither resulted in a turnover.

Rodgers completed less than 50 percent of his passes in the first half (10-of-21) and, more importantly, was kept out of the end zone.

Run Defense: While the Ravens were able to limit the damage done by Rodgers, the team has struggled to contain the Packers rushing attack.

Rookie running back Eddie Lacy has had his way with the Ravens, rushing for 65 yards on just eight carries. As long as Green Bay holds a lead, however small, their ability to run the football will be an asset.

Special Teams: In a tightly contested game such as this one, special teams can make all the difference. So far, the Ravens are winning the special teams battle, thanks to a few big plays and a little bit of luck.

Baltimore had a punt blocked in the second quarter, but recovered the ball to retain possession. The Ravens should have finished off the drive with a score, but failed on a 4th-and-goal attempt.

The Ravens held Green Bay to just 25 yards on four punt returns, while consistently forcing the Packers to begin drives with poor field position.

Coaching: The decision by head coach John Harbaugh to try for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal might come back to bite Baltimore in a big way. Had the Ravens taken the easy field goal, this game would be a three-point affair.

Asking your quarterback to go toe-to-to with Rodgers may not seem like the best strategy, but the Ravens don't have much of a choice because of their inability to run the football. This cannot be blamed on the coaching staff.

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