I wanted to write just when the game concluded, and thought it to be unwise and instead get the emotions out. So after thinking it over, here are some clear headed post game grades about what I think.
1. I think that Mike Zimmer layed an egg. The Cincy pass rush that I had so passionately talked up was absent. Multiple times in the game Flacco had all day to find a reciever. I give Zimmer a "C-" for the day. Knowing that his secondary was patch work and was the weak link, he failed to put pressure on Flacco with his front 7 and instead put the game on the shoulders of the secondary. Bad move.
2. I think that Jay Gruden owns as much blame for the loss as anyone. His play calling in the 3rd quarter doomed two drives. First the failed Flea flicker, then Dalton's "option" play which nearly resulted in a turnover. Both gimmick plays weren't needed, and both killed drives when we needed points the worse. And despite Scott running the ball good, he continued to give the ball to Benson, who went no where execpt for the 2 goal line TDs. I give Jay a "D". 3. I think that Benson should be our new short yardage back, and nothing else. He is no longer fast, no longer explosive, and no longer an every down back. All season he has been declining. Today he was quite pathetic in the open field, running for 1 and 2 yd gains all day. I give him a "C-". His two TD's were impressive, but the other 13 runs were not.
4. Andre Caldwell continues to drop the ball, literally. Again he was targeted 9 times, catching only 3 passes. Whether he is running the incorrect routes, failing to hold onto the ball, or failing to catch balls that hit him squarely on the helmet, it is time to move on without him. He gets an "F". Please cut him tomorrow.
5. I think that Brian Leonard is money. He had 57 yds out of the backfield and held onto every pass. He gets an "A".
6. I think that Jerome Simpson proved he can be a No.2 reciever today with 152 yds. He gets an "A"
7. I think that B. Scott should've carried the ball 15 times instead of Benson. Averaging 4.4 YPC against the Ravens defense he should've earned him more touches. Jay Gruden obviously thought different. I give Scott a "B+".
8. And lastly I think that Nate Clements may be the most under-rated player on the team. His Int. was big today, and he has been solid all year. I give him an "A".