Report card

November 08, 1999|By Mike Preston


B - Tony Banks had a second solid performance and made some great throws early in the game that the two previous starters couldn't make. Banks held onto the ball after two rough sacks and tucked it away when scrambling. For the first time after a game this season, no one asked coach Brian Billick who would start at QB the next week.

A - Running backs

Errict Rhett had more than 100 yards rushing, but fullback Chuck Evans did a lot of damage on lead blocking to spring Rhett. Rhett has good vision and gained a lot of yards on cutbacks, but his touchdown was scored running straight ahead after Rhett noticed the Browns weren't aggressive in pursuing him in the second half.

B - Receivers

Justin Armour came through with a lot of clutch receptions on third down early in the game to keep several drives alive. Qadry Ismail had a 28-yard touchdown reception and as a group they blocked fairly well downfield for Rhett. Tight end Aaron Pierce had two catches for 17 yards, a slight improvement over a week ago, when there were no tight end completions.

B - Offensive line

When this group has been healthy, it has been effective. Banks had a lot of time to throw and Rhett rushed for 117 yards. The right side was particular effective at the point of attack while the left side cut off a lot of backside penetration, leaving cutback lanes.

A - Defensive line

Cleveland had some success running up the middle in the first game, but tackles Larry Webster, Tony Siragusa and Lional Dalton shut off all lanes yesterday. Defensive ends Michael McCrary and Rob Burnett played well and provided a lot of pressure.

A - Linebackers

Whatever traffic the defensive line let through on running plays, linebackers Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware and Jamie Sharper cleaned up. Lewis played extremely well against the pass, getting nice depth for the Browns' short passing game. Boulware didn't have a sack, but quarterback Tim Couch knew where he was at all times yesterday.

A - Defensive backs

The Ravens smothered Cleveland's receivers, even Kevin Johnson. When the Ravens didn't get pressure on Couch, he had no-where to throw. Cornerback Duane Starks' interception in the first half was one of the biggest plays of the game and safety Rod Woodson easily baited quarterback Ty Detmer for a 66-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

B - Special teams

Matt Stover converted two field goals of 28 and 44 yards. It wasn't one of punter Kyle Richardson's better days and the punt return team still hasn't sprung returner Jermaine Lewis, who fumbled once. The coverage teams performed well, especially Pro Bowl special teamer Bennie Thompson, who had two tackles.

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