Baltimore Ravens: Kelechi Osemele

Here are the five highest- and lowest-graded Baltimore Ravens players by our friends at Pro Football Focus at the Week 11 bye ...

HIGHEST GRADED

Yanda
G Marshal Yanda (30.5): He's the highest-graded offensive lineman in the NFL. Yanda has allowed one sack and his run-block grade (27.0) is phenomenal when you consider no one else is above 14.

DT Haloti Ngata (20.3): He is rated as the 10th-best run stopper among all defensive linemen. This overall rating is significantly better than the one he finished last year (7.6).

LB Pernell McPhee (17.7): He leads the Ravens with 11 quarterback hits and has 22 hurries, which are six more than anyone else on the team. These types of numbers will gain other teams' attention in free agency.

G Kelechi Osemele (16.8): He is tied with Green Bay's Josh Sitton as the second highest-graded guard in the league. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo said there is no better finisher on blocks in the NFL than Osemele.

LB Elvis Dumervil (15.0): He is tied for second in the NFL with 10.5 sacks. Dumervil has the third-most multi-sack games since 2006.

LOWEST GRADED

OT James Hurst (-14.2): The undrafted rookie faced the challenging task of protecting Joe Flacco's blind side for four games. Hurst allowed three sacks, three quarterback hits and five hurries.

SS Matt Elam (-10.4): He is tied for fourth among all NFL defensive backs with 12 missed tackles, and he has allowed an average of 16.2 yards on 17 catches this season. Elam is the fourth-worst safety in the league, according to Pro Football Focus' grades.

CB Lardarius Webb (-8.7): He is the sixth-worst cornerback in the NFL, allowing 32 catches for 420 yards (13.1 yards per reception) and a touchdown. Webb has only six passes defensed in seven games after breaking up 22 last season (the second most in the NFL).

CB Asa Jackson (-6.7): He allowed 22 catches and a touchdown in five games played. Jackson, who is currently on short-term injured reserve, also missed five tackles.

WR Jacoby Jones (-5.0): He quickly fell from the No. 3 receiver to the bottom of the depth chart. Jones hasn't played an offensive snap in two games, and he still has more drops (five) than receptions (four).
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Grading the Baltimore Ravens in their 21-7 win over the Tennessee Titans:

Quarterback: Joe Flacco never seemed like he was physically or mentally into the game until his perfectly thrown 32-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith in the fourth quarter. He didn't check out of run plays when the Titans stacked the line, and he continually threw jump passes instead of stepping into his throws. It was a frustrating day for Flacco, who missed a wide open Steve Smith on third down and failed to complete a simple swing pass to Justin Forsett. Flacco really hasn't been on top of his game since that five-touchdown performance in Tampa. Grade: C-minus.

Running backs: Justin Forsett produced his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. His best play was on fourth-and-one in the red zone, where he took a pitch and faked out a defender to score a nine-yard touchdown. It was a relatively easy day for Forsett considering he only had to break two tackles. Bernard Pierce took over the backup role after rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro fumbled last week and he did relatively well. He gained 31 yards but still averaged less than four yards per carry. Grade: B-plus.

Wide receivers/tight ends: Torrey Smith caught a long touchdown pass despite being held, but he also dropped a deep pass that was underthrown. The biggest criticism is not fighting hard enough for the contested balls. Steve Smith was a non-factor with three catches for a season-low 17 yards, and he also dropped a pass. Smith was the lowest-rated wide receiver this week by Pro Football Focus. Tight end Owen Daniels had two receptions for 20 yards. The receivers didn't consistently get open. When they did, Flacco was often off target. Grade: C-minus.

Offensive line: It was an extremely uneven performance, but the Ravens did eventually wear down the Titans by the fourth quarter. The interior of the line -- center Jeremy Zuttah and guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele -- was strong in run blocking. After losing the battle up front in the first half, the Ravens gained 60 yards rushing in between the tackles in the fourth quarter, the second-most by any NFL team this week. It was easily the worst game of the season for right tackle Rick Wagner. He was called for a false start and got bull-rushed into Flacco for a sack. It was very Michael Oher-eque. Left tackle Eugene Monroe didn't allow a quarterback hurry or hit. Grade: B.

Defensive line: Haloti Ngata has returned to being a playmaker after a couple of down seasons. He forced a fumble at the Ravens' one-yard line and batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage. Rookie Timmy Jernigan is making an impact as well. He had his first career sack (the result of good coverage downfield) and recorded three quarterback hurries. Nose tackle Brandon Williams got pushed around for one of the few games this season, and defensive end Chris Canty was even worse against the run. Grade: C-plus.

Linebackers: Outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs made it a tough afternoon for rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger. They crashed the edges for four sacks and five quarterback hits. Suggs also led the team in tackles. It was a sloppy game for rookie C.J. Mosley, who made five tackles and missed three. Daryl Smith had the first quarterback hit of the game. Grade: B.

Secondary: The defensive backs bounced back strong and they didn't allow a pass over 20 yards for the first time this season. Rookie safety Terrence Brooks made the biggest defensive play of the game with his hit on Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Anthony Levine, a backup safety, made an impressive debut as the Ravens' new starting cornerback. He allowed one pass and broke up two others. Danny Gorrer, who was claimed off waivers last week, recorded only the second interception by a Ravens cornerback this season. The Titans picked on Lardarius Webb the most, completing four passes for 47 yards against him. The Ravens forced three-and-outs on seven of the last nine drives. Grade: A.

Special teams: The Ravens dominated the field-position battle. Sam Koch placed four of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line, including two inside the 10. Jacob Jones had a 45-yard punt return negated by an illegal block by Darian Stewart. Anthony Levine also had a holding penalty on a punt return that pushed the Ravens inside their own 20. Justin Tucker had touchbacks on two of his four kickoffs. Grade: B.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- On the day the Baltimore Ravens announced that tight end Owen Daniels is out for Sunday's game, they essentially revealed that the starting left side of their offensive line will return.

Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and guard Kelechi Osemele are both considered probable for the first-place battle at Cincinnati. They haven't been on the field together for the past four weeks.

Monroe and Osemele, both of whom are dealing with knee injuries, had full participation in every practice this week.

Defensive end Chris Canty, who is out for Sunday's game, has been cleared "to start training heavily," coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a matter of how fast he can get back in shape." Canty will miss his fourth straight game.

As for the Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver A.J. Green is doubtful with a toe injury. The rest of the injury report:

Out: TE Owen Daniels (knee, did not practice Friday), DE Chris Canty (wrist, did not practice Friday).

Probable: OT Eugene Monroe (knee, full participation), G Kelechi Osemele (knee, full participation).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The starting left side of the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line -- tackle Eugene Monroe and guard Kelechi Osemele -- fully participated in practice for a second straight day, another indication that they'll play in Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

Monroe and Osemele have started side by side since Week 3, and the Ravens have gone with rookies James Hurst and John Urschel in their absence.

"It's very important to get them back," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "They've had a good week. But we'll continue to get James and John ready to play. I think offensively right now, you guys can see it's almost like everybody gets a chance to contribute. So, I think we stay the course right there and hopefully Eugene and K.O. are ready for a full day's work."

Ravens injury report

Did not participate: DE Chris Canty (wrist), TE Owen Daniels (knee), LB Daryl Smith (not injury related), WR Steve Smith (not injury related).

Full participation: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), G Kelechi Osemele (knee).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Many assumed Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels was getting his usual day off when he wasn't on the practice field Wednesday. That changed when the team's injury report was released.

Daniels, the team's second-leading receiver, missed practice with a knee injury. Although Daniels has played in all seven games this season, he only played two full seasons in his previous eight years in the NFL.

He caught a season-high six passes on Sunday and scored a touchdown on the opening drive. Daniels has 27 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns this season.

As I wrote earlier, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and guard Kelechi Osemele both practiced.

RAVENS INJURY REPORT

Did not participate: TE Owen Daniels (knee), DE Chris Canty (wrist).

Full participation: G Kelechi Osemele (knee), OT Eugene Monroe (knee).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and guard Kelechi Osemele both were on the field at the start of Wednesday's practice, a positive sign that the Baltimore Ravens could have the left side of their offensive line back for Sunday's first-place showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Ravens haven't had Monroe and Osemele play in the same game since Week 3. They're both dealing with knee injuries.

Monroe moved around well in the media viewing portion of practice (first 30 minutes), and Osemele sported a brace on his right knee. They practiced last Thursday, but they were listed as doubtful after not practicing Friday.

The only players not practicing were tight end Owen Daniels, who typically gets the day off, and defensive end Chris Canty, who has missed the past three games with an infection in his wrist.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens are expected to start two rookies on the left side of their offensive line for the second straight game when they play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Left tackle Eugene Monroe and left guard Kelechi Osemele, both of whom are dealing with knee injuries, are listed as doubtful on the Ravens' injury report after not practicing Friday. That likely means undrafted rookie tackle James Hurst and rookie fifth-round guard John Urschel will start Sunday.

One starter who won't be playing is defensive end Chris Canty, who has been declared out with an infection in his wrist. DeAngelo Tyson will start his third straight game in place of Canty.

Rookie second-round pick Timmy Jernigan (knee) is probable after missing the past four games.

Injury report

Out: DE Chris Canty (wrist, did not participate Friday), DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle, did not participate Friday).

Doubtful: OT Eugene Monroe (knee, did not participate Friday), G Kelechi Osemele (knee, did not participate Friday).

Probable: LB Daryl Smith (not injury related, full participation Friday), TE Owen Daniels (not injury related, full participation Friday), WR Marlon Brown (pelvis, full participation Friday), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee, full participation Friday), WR Kamar Aiken (concussion, full participation Friday).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe returned to practice Thursday, a day after left guard Kelechi Osemele came back for the Baltimore Ravens. But those two starters still might not be available for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Monroe
Osemele
Monroe practiced for the first time since having a procedure on his knee, which has caused him to miss the past three games. Osmele was sidelined last Sunday with a knee injury.

"(Monroe) and KO, we're trying to get them back on the field," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "Obviously, KO is a little further along than he is right now. We've got to get those guys back healthy."

In the big picture, it's more important for the Ravens to have Monroe and Osemele back for next Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only could that game be for first place in the AFC North, but the Ravens can't afford to get swept by the Bengals because of tiebreaker purposes.

If Monroe and Osemele are sidelined Sunday, the Ravens would go with two rookies on the left side for a second straight week. Undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst and rookie fifth-round guard John Urschel each only allowed one quarterback hurry in last Sunday's win in Tampa, and helped the Ravens rush for 169 yards.

Asked if he ever had two rookies start on the left side like that, Kubiak said, "I've never been around that. That was something else. But boy, you have to be proud of them. They've worked really hard. I think the guys around them played hard. Usually when you have a young guy step in, it's about everybody else playing a little bit better. So, you got to give the whole group credit the way they've stepped up."

The Ravens face a Falcons defense that ranks 28th against the run and 29th against the pass.

RAVENS INJURY REPORT

DID NOT PRACTICE: DE Chris Canty (wrist), DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle), TE Owen Daniels (not injury related) and LB Daryl Smith (not injury related).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), WR Kamar Aiken (concussion), G Kelechi Osemele (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (pelvis), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens starting left guard Kelechi Osemele was limited in practice Wednesday after missing his first game of the season.

Osemele
This is a positive sign for Osemele (knee), who didn't practice last week. The Ravens started rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel in his place.

Two backups -- defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) and wide receiver Marlon Brown (pelvis) -- were full participants in practice after missing Sunday's game.

RAVENS INJURY REPORT

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), DE Chris Canty (wrist) and DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: G Kelechi Osemele (knee) and WR Kamar Aiken (concussion).

FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (pelvis) and DT Timmy Jernigan (knee).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens looked much healthier than the team that played in Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Three players who missed their last game returned to the practice field Wednesday: left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) and wide receiver Marlon Brown (pelvis). In addition to those players, free safety Will Hill (six-game suspension) and nose tackle Terrence Cody (hip, physically unable to perform list) were also practicing during the media viewing portion of practice after missing an extended period.

Osemele and Brown missed their first games of the season. Jernigan, a rookie second-round pick, has been inactive the past four games.

Three players weren't practicing: offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (knee), defensive end Chris Canty (wrist) and defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi (undisclosed).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn't rule out Kelechi Osemele for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay even though the left guard hasn't practiced all week.

"He has a chance to play on Sunday," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice.

Osemele bruised his right knee after a Joe Flacco interception early in the third quarter of Sunday's loss in Indianapolis and needed help to walk off the field. But he was back on the field when the offense got the ball back and didn't miss a snap.

On Monday, Harbaugh said he thought Osemele would be ready to play at Tampa. Osemele, who is the rated as the NFL's third-best guard by Pro Football Focus, will likely be listed as questionable when the injury report is released later Friday.

If Osemele is sidelined for the first time this season, the Ravens are expected to replace him with Gino Gradkowski. It would mark Gradkowski's first start at guard after starting every game at center last season.

Gradkowski, a fourth-round pick in 2012, played guard in college and has practiced there this year.

"He can do it," Harbaugh said. "I'm very confident he can do it when called upon."

Losing Osemele would further weaken the Ravens' left side of the offensive line. Undrafted rookie James Hurst is making his third start at left tackle in place of Eugene Monroe, who is out with a knee injury.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele missed his second straight practice with a bruised right knee.

Osemele
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated earlier this week that he thought Osemele would be fine for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Osemele did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Osemele injured his knee early in the third quarter last Sunday and returned to finish the game.

He has been the third-best guard in the league this season, according to Pro Football Focus rankings. While there is a chance Osemele could play, the Ravens would likely start Gino Gradkowski if he is sidelined.

Marlon Brown, the team's No. 3 receiver, also missed his second straight practice with a pelvis injury. Strong safety Matt Elam, center Jeremy Zuttah and linebacker Daryl Smith all returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.

Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, defensive end Chris Canty and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan aren't expected to play Sunday.

RAVENS INJURY REPORT

DID NOT PRACTICE: G Kelechi Osemele (knee), WR Marlon Brown (pelvis), DE Chris Canty (wrist), OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and DT Timmy Jernigan (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: SS Matt Elam (shoulder), LB Daryl Smith (knee) and C Jeremy Zuttah (ankle).
The Baltimore Ravens placed four players on Pro Football Focus' all-star team for the first quarter of the season, which is the most of any team in the NFL.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Terrell Suggs all made the team. Only eight teams had multiple players on the team, and no one other than the Ravens had more than three (Miami and Philadelphia had three each).

This is what PFF had to say about the Ravens who made the team:

Juszczyk: "No one player has really stood out, so the versatile Raven gets the nod with a big nod to being featured more prominently than his peers."

Yanda and Osemele: "It never hurts when you have two guards that are playing as well as Osemele and Yanda. Both are generating the kind of movement that means their running backs are getting to the second level and that should never be overlooked."

Suggs: "Suggs doesn't have the publicity problem of [Cameron] Wake, but since his Achilles injury performance has been an issue. Not this year with him being a true force against both run and pass."


BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh couldn't remember exactly what he told his team before the game that led to a motivated 26-6 victory over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Nor could his players.

What did stick with Harbaugh was the fact that his players didn't have a missed assignment during practice Monday. Four hours after the release of running back Ray Rice, the players took to the field and were sharp with the game plan for the Steelers.

"So, that was a good indication," Harbaugh said after his largest margin victory over the Steelers since 2011.

How could the Ravens not be affected by a story that dominated headlines across the nation? The players simply understood the alternative of not being focused.

[+] EnlargeElvis Dumervill
Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT/Getty ImagesElvis Dumervil and the Ravens blocked out the Ray Rice distractions and put on a clinic in a 26-6 whipping of the Steelers.
The Ravens couldn’t start the season 0-2 with home losses to division opponents. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, no team has been able to reach the playoffs after such a start, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“We had no choice but to think about this game,” safety Matt Elam said.

The perception is that the emotions of the Rice saga would not allow the Ravens to devote all of their attention to the Steelers. The Ravens believe it’s easier than what outsiders think.

Harbaugh said his team was in what he called "that football cocoon." The Ravens banded together and played with an intensity that wasn't evident in the season opener.

"We are really isolated from all of that," Harbaugh said. "As a football team, we got into our meeting rooms and our locker rooms, and we go to work."

If there was any question whether the Ravens would be distracted by parting ways with the second-leading rusher in franchise history, they provided the answer in the first quarter.

Historically a slow-starting team, the Ravens set the tone when linebacker Daryl Smith forced a fumble at the Baltimore 15-yard line and Flacco converted that turnover into a 12-play, 85-yard drive. It was capped by Joe Flacco's 2-yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels.

The Ravens' relentlessness continued until the fourth quarter. Left guard Kelechi Osemele realized the Ravens were wearing down the Steelers when he saw linebacker Lawrence Timmons throwing up on the field.

The Ravens were the more motivated team. They were the more desperate team. They were the more focused team. Some key numbers -- no turnovers, four penalties and 35 minutes in time of possession -- underscore that.

"As soon as the clock ticked to zero against Cincinnati on Sunday, there was a sense of urgency that we had to get back on the field," said Flacco, who went 10-for-10 passing for 84 yards and two touchdowns on the Ravens' two touchdown drives.

Many players don't enjoy Thursday games because the quick turnaround doesn't allow their bodies to recover. This time, the quick four-day turnaround was a welcomed change.

In many ways, the three hours at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday were the easiest part of an emotional week. It allowed them to get back to what they do best.

"It just felt good to get back to football," defensive end Chris Canty said. "We're answering a lot of questions about things that don't pertain to football, so I'm just really excited that the men in this locker room came together amid all of that adversity and we put the kind of performance out there that we did tonight."

Canty added, "It's been an emotional week. But, in the game of football, you've got to be able to play with emotion to play at your best. You could see it on the sideline. We were all cheering each other on."

In comparison, the adversity they faced on the field didn't seem so daunting. Running back Bernard Pierce, who was benched Sunday for fumbling, showed determination in running for 96 yards. The defense delivered turnovers two of the three times the Steelers got inside the 20-yard line (Smith's forced fumble and Haloti Ngata's interception).

As a result, the Ravens were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. For the first time since the football world saw Rice's latest video on Monday morning, the news swirling around the Ravens was good.

"I think adversity can bring you together, and our guys are made of the right stuff," Harbaugh said. "I'm proud of them for that."

BALTIMORE -- Wide receiver Steve Smith's best game of the preseason propelled the Baltimore Ravens to a 23-17 win over the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday night.

After being quiet in the first two preseason games, Smith caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. His diving 24-yard touchdown catch with 25 seconds left in the first half broke a 3-3 tie, and the Ravens (3-0) never relinquished the lead.

Smith's determination was evident on his 30-yard catch in the first quarter. He essentially broke out of four tackles to turn a short pass into a big gain.

"I am getting more comfortable with the offense," Smith said. "Last week I really didn't play well. I didn't line up well, and my assignments were off. Today was a great opportunity to show that I can be an asset instead of the liability I was last week."

Here are some other thoughts on the Ravens' third preseason game:
  • Joe Flacco showed his resiliency once again. After being under fire for most of the first half, he calmly orchestrated a two-minute drive to end the half, completing 6-of-8 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown. He was not sharp early for a second straight week, throwing behind and late to his receivers. It didn't help that he was hit more than a handful of times. Flacco finished 16-of-23 for 180 yards.
  • Ravens cornerbacks Dominique Franks and Chykie Brown held up well against the Redskins' playmaking receivers. With the Ravens' top three cornerbacks (Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson) all sidelined with injuries, Franks and Brown limited DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to a combined two catches for four yards. Franks showed good anticipation except for a pass interference penalty on the opening drive.
  • The Redskins did a lot of blitzing (on runs and passes) for a preseason game, and the Ravens' offensive line struggled against it. Right tackle Rick Wagner got roughed up by Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, and left guard Kelechi Osemele got beat as well. Flacco was sacked twice in the first half after not getting sacked in the first two preseason games.
  • How thin are the Ravens at cornerback? The Ravens used safety Anthony Levine at cornerback for the first time. On one third-down play, the Ravens had four safeties on the field: Levine at cornerback, Terrence Brooks at nickelback, Matt Elam at strong safety and Darian Stewart at free safety.
  • The Ravens' athleticism on the defensive line shined in containing Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. Nose tackle Brandon Williams got into the backfield to drill Griffin and force an incompletion. Rookie Timmy Jernigan ran Griffin down to push him out of bounds for a sack.
  • It was an impressive first series for Brooks. He made an interception that was negated by penalty and then sacked Griffin on third down in the red zone. On that sack, Brooks showcased his speed by covering a lot of ground. Brooks is capitalizing on his time with the first-team defense.

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