Report card

November 01, 1999|By Mike Preston

Quarterback

Tony Banks played well in the first three quarters, but he still has to learn to protect the ball. The rust from him being the No. 3 quarterback showed because his timing was off with the receivers on some routes. Overall, his first start was about what was expected, including at least one turnover. - D+

Running backs

Errict Rhett had 73 yards rushing on 24 carries, but he doesn't have a passing game or an outside threat to complement him. Rhett is a better pass blocker than given credit for. Fullback Chuck Evans blocked well and ran hard on his two attempts, but these two players don't become factors in the fourth quarter because the Ravens are usually playing catch-up. - C+

Receivers

Justin Armour dropped three passes and Qadry Ismail was twice called for interference. The Ravens' tight ends didn't have a reception. The receivers complained about the physical coverage and holding, but until they make some of these cornerbacks pay, it's going to happen every week. Anyone seen Patrick Johnson, the only legitimate long threat on the team? Teams don't respect Ismail as a deep threat. - D

Offensive line

The group was healthy and intact for the first time in nearly three weeks. It performed well when the team was working the play-action passing game off the running game, but this unit has a hard time when it becomes one-dimensional. Pass blocking is not its forte. - C

Defensive line

The Bills had some success running off-tackle, but the Ravens pretty much shut down the running game. Both starting ends, Michael McCrary and Rob Burnett, applied substantial pressure, and so did reserve end Fernando Smith. This group overwhelmed Buffalo, but the Bills' offensive line is atrocious. - B+

Linebackers

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis finished with 14 tackles and made some stops on quarterback Doug Flutie that most linebackers couldn't have made. Both outside linebackers turned in solid efforts, Jamie Sharper against the run and Peter Boulware with all-around play. - B+

Defensive backs

Left cornerback Chris McAlister covered well and his run support was good. Right cornerback DeRon Jenkins got caught watching Flutie scramble a couple of times when he could have made plays, but it's hard covering a wide receiver for seven to 10 seconds. Safeties Rod Woodson and Kim Herring missed their usual tackles, and the Ravens dropped several passes that should have been intercepted. But three interceptions is not a bad day, either. - C

Special teams

Punter Kyle Richardson, who averaged 47.7 yards, has become the team's top offensive weapon. The coverage units performed well, but the Ravens got very little out of punt returner Jermaine Lewis (two returns, 8 yards), and coach Brian Billick should not have had Matt Stover attempt a 51-yard field goal, which was blocked. -- C+

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.