Report card

November 29, 1999|By Mike Preston



Tony Banks had his usual inconsistent performance. Some great throws. Two fumbles. An interception. On some plays, he looks great. On other plays, he looks like he just woke up. He may never develop the pocket awareness he needs to be a star in the NFL. If the Ravens could combine Banks, Scott Mitchell and Stoney Case, they would have a great quarterback. Instead, the Ravens have gotten below-average play at the position.

Running backs


The Ravens averaged 3.7 yards on 22 carries, and running back Errict Rhett had 30 yards on 13 carries. Fullback Chuck Evans ran for 47 yards on eight carries, but his legs seemed to tire after gains of more than 6 yards. The running game hasn't added much to the offense in the past two weeks.



Surprise, surprise: The Ravens finally threw a long pass to Jermaine Lewis for a 46-yard reception. But they got the ball to speedster Patrick Johnson only once for 19 yards, and Billy Davis was used sparingly. Qadry Ismail had a nice performance with five catches for 76 yards, but if the Ravens want to make big plays, they'll have to get the ball to the fast guys. Long, time-consuming drives are not their forte.

Offensive line


If Jaguars defensive end Tony Brackens is All-Pro, then Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden is All-World. He slapped Brackens around as usual. The Ravens got decent efforts from guards Jeff Blackshear and Edwin Mulitalo, but Everett Lindsay had problems at right tackle again. Ravens coach Brian Billick should seriously consider moving Lindsay back to guard and starting Spencer Folau on the right side.

Defensive line


Tackles Larry Webster and Tony Siragusa plugged up the middle to stop Jacksonville's running attack. Right end Michael McCrary played one of his better games against Pro Bowl left tackle Tony Boselli, but left end Rob Burnett seemed to disappear after a strong first half. In fact, the group's entire pass rush seemed to disappear in the fourth quarter.



For one of the few times this season, middle linebacker Ray Lewis wasn't the team's leading tackler, because Jacksonville threw against the secondary. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware was superb, recording 1.5 sacks while playing only during passing situations. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper played well against the run but was on the bench for passing downs.

Defensive backs


It's a bad sign when the team's top two tacklers are safeties Rod Woodson (seven) and Kim Herring (six). Herring and Woodson, though, need to take the guesswork out of their play, because they seemed to be out of position a couple of times. The Ravens have drafted Duane Starks and Chris McAlister with their first-round picks the past two years, so why not let them be aggressive instead of playing so soft?

Special teams


Kicker Matt Stover was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, including one of 46 yards. Punter Kyle Richardson was steady and the coverage was solid. Corey Harris had three kickoff returns for 130 yards, including one for 66, but was run down by the kicker on a fourth-quarter return. Embarrassing. Note to McAlister: Please block the other team's gunner on punt returns.

Keys to the game

1 Ravens quarterback Tony Banks committed two key turnovers, one that stopped a potential scoring drive and another that led to a Jaguars touchdown.

2 The Jaguars converted on nine of 18 third-down plays and connected on numerous big passes over the middle.

3 The Ravens again couldn't put a good team away, allowing the Jaguars 23 fourth-quarter points.

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