Report card

January 03, 2000|By Mike Preston

Quarterbacks

Tony Banks never got it going. He killed one drive with an interception by overthrowing wide-open A. J. Ofodile in the end zone in the third quarter. He didn't hang onto the ball when he was sacked in the third quarter, leading to a Patriots touchdown. And he didn't get much help from his offensive line and receivers. Replacement Stoney Case was just as ineffective with a couple of overthrows and an interception.

F

Running backs

Priest Holmes ran extremely hard, gaining 95 yards on 16 carries. He was one of the few Ravens on offense who came to play. It's a shame the Ravens got away from giving him the ball after the first quarter. Fullback Chuck Evans ran well when he had the opportunity, but the Ravens only gave him the ball twice. He finished with 12 yards.

B+

Receivers

If there were a few more games left in the season, Patrick Johnson might emerge as the best receiver on the team. He had nine catches for 114 yards and threw some nice blocks downfield. He fumbled once to ruin a drive early in the game, but that resulted from him trying to give extra effort and gain a first down. Qadry Ismail had five catches for 50 yards and Justin Armour had two for 22, but his came late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.

C

Offensive line

The Ravens allowed seven sacks. Enough said? Nope. Right tackle Everett Lindsay has had problems dealing with quality players on his side, and the Ravens also failed to pick up several blitzes up the middle. It wasn't a great game for left tackle Jonathan Ogden or left guard Edwin Mulitalo. Coach Brian Billick was being polite yesterday when he called the Ravens' pass protection horrendous.

F

Defensive line

The front unit of tackles Larry Webster and Tony Siragusa and ends Michael McCrary and Rob Burnett dominated the action. The Ravens had only two sacks, but they pressured quarterback Drew Bledsoe a lot. The Patriots had only 49 yards rushing.

A

Linebackers

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis started off slowly but started controlling the game by the second quarter. Lewis finished with nine tackles. Jamie Sharper finished with 10 to lead the Ravens and played the weak side extremely well. Peter Boulware and Cornell Brown shared the strong-side position, and the Patriots couldn't get anything there either.

A

Defensive backs

This group really never got tested because punter Kyle Richardson did a nice job of pinning the Patriots down. Cornerbacks DeRon Jenkins, Duane Starks and Chris McAlister handled themselves well, but strong safety Kim Herring has to do a better job of tackling.

B

Special teams

Hold your nose. This unit was that bad. The Ravens allowed 70 yards on four punt returns, including a long of 52 yards. They also allowed 103 yards on two kickoff returns. The Ravens got solid kicking from Matt Stover and fine punting from Richardson, but two poor special teams plays led to 10 New England points.

F

Keys to the game

1 The Ravens' special teams gave up several big plays, putting the defense on a short field.

2 The Ravens allowed seven sacks and starting quarterback Tony Banks was pressured most of the game.

3 For one of the few times in recent weeks, the Ravens didn't produce any big plays for touchdowns.

Pub Date: 1/03/00

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