Report card

September 08, 1997

Running backs

Earnest Byner and Jay Graham combined for 148 yards and Graham eased concerns about a rookie getting substantial playing time. He showed great speed and burst on the outside. -- B+

Quarterback

Vinny Testaverde was 25 of 36 for 275 yards, a touchdown and just one interception. He still had problems, however, connecting with Michael Jackson on the post pattern. -- B

Receivers

Jackson got off to a slow start, but seems to play better when the opposition starts talking trash. Derrick Alexander turned a couple of hitches into moderate gainers. Tight end Eric Green is off to a good start and he threw some solid blocks. -- B+

Offensive line

Even when center Quentin Neujahr left the game with an ankle injury, Leo Goeas played well, moving over from left guard. Right guard Jeff Blackshear and right tackle Orlando Brown manhandled the Bengals in the second half.-- B

Defensive line

No group plays a perfect game, but this one came close. Take away Jeff Blake's three rushes for 34 yards, and the Bengals had only 22 yards rushing. -- A-

Linebackers

Ray Lewis is a mad man in the middle, and there may not be another linebacker in the league who covers as much ground. Outside linebacker Peter Boulware was relentless in his pass rush, but still needs about two more weeks of conditioning. -- B

Secondary

Cornerback Donny Brady locked up several times into tight coverage with Carl Pickens, and safety Stevon Moore had two interceptions. The Ravens' defense batted down or knocked away six passes. -- C+

Special teams

Matt Stover was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts and had a couple of deep kickoffs. Kick coverage was solid, but Dorian Brew didn't close off the sideline on a kickoff and allowed a 58-yard return. -- B-

Pub Date: 9/08/97

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