Don't let the score of the Ravens' 31-13 win over the Chiefs confuse you - it was a mixed bag last night for head coach John Harbaugh.
There were some positive performances by those in purple and black, but some negative ones sure were there, as well. Let's take a look at some of the winners and (I hate to say "losers", but...) losers from last night.
Lee Evans, WR
You don't want to make too much out of three catches, but man, Evans sure did look like a go-to wide receiver last night, didn't he? In his Ravens debut, Evans showed off his speed, his impressive hands and his route running ability, and his 68 receiving yards tied for a team-high. Neither of the former Bills wideout's first two grabs were easy, but he reeled in Joe Flacco passes in tight coverage, and on the third, he showcased his wheels on a go-route up the sideline that turned into a 43-yard gain. Evans looks like he might finally give the Ravens a legitimate deep threat they can count on ... and to think, he did it all while still not fully comfortable in the offense.
Pernell McPhee, DE
The rookie defensive tackle can't catch a break; every time he forces a fumble, the play gets overturned after a review. For the second straight game, McPhee knocked the ball loose only to have the officials give possession back to the opposing team after a video review, but even though the stat sheet doesn't recognize the effort, the coaching staff sure will. McPhee has been all over the field this camp, and is on his way to earning a spot on the 53-man roster.
Jah Reid, OT
It's time to give the rookie right tackle some credit - he had a shaky pro debut against the Eagles last week, but he came back against Kansas City, and while facing a tough Chiefs pass rush, made improvements. I tried to watch the third-round pick as much as possible last night, and from what I saw, he looked to play with a physical edge, and was using his long arms to his advantage, keeping defenders at a distance. Reid was flagged for one false start penalty and still has plenty of work to do when it comes to his technique and his drops, but he held his own last night.
Tom Zbikowski, S
This has nothing to do with the way Zbikowski played last night; the fourth-year safety held his own against the Chiefs, and didn't do anything to stand out in a negative fashion. Zbikowski being listed in the "three down" category has much more to do with the fact that he appears to have fallen behind Bernard Pollard in the battle for the starting strong safety spot. Pollard got the start over Zbikowski last night, and the former Texans safety played well in about a half's worth of action. Zbikowski is still in the mix, and he'll earn playing time during the season regardless of whether he wins the starting job or not. For now, it just appears that Pollard has a leg up for that role.
Lardarius Webb, CB
With the emergence of Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams, Webb - once a guy who was viewed as a big part of the Ravens' cornerback rotation - has suddenly gotten bumped down on the depth chart. With Chris Carr out because of a hamstring injury and Domonique Foxworth still working back from a torn ACL, Webb has been getting reps with the first-team at nickel back. He's looked good on blitzes, and picked up half a sack last night, but when the two banged up veterans return, will there be playing time for Webb? There might not be, not if he fumbles punts away like he did against KC and continues to struggle in coverage.
Joe Flacco, QB
Flacco didn't have a horrendous outing last night (12-of-24 for 124 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs), but he certainly didn't look great, either. The Ravens' QB overthrew wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a deep pass on Baltimore's first offensive possession, when he had tight end Dennis Pitta wide open underneath for what was likely a 25-yard gain. He threw behind Ed Dickson, too far ahead of Torrey Smith, and never seemed to get into a rhythm, despite an improved performance from the offensive line. With Flacco unlikely to play much (if at all) in the preseason finale, Ravens fans have to hope their fourth-year quarterback hits his groove next week against the Redskins and can head into the regular season with a solid performance under his belt.