Report card

Ravens 16, Raiders 3,

January 15, 2001|By Mike Preston

Quarterback -- C+ -- Trent Dilfer completed only nine of 18 passes for 190 yards, but he made the big play when he had to, the short pass over the middle that tight end Shannon Sharpe turned into a 96-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Regardless of Dilfer's numbers, the Ravens use him successfully within a conservative structure.

Offensive line -- C+ -- The unit wasn't overpowering, but the group dominated in the second half when the Ravens had to use the clock. The Ravens still have problems picking up blitzes, but they get two weeks to prepare for the Giants and their relentless pass rush. Kipp Vickers did an adequate job filling in for injured guard Edwin Mulitalo.

Running backs -- C -- Rookie halfback Jamal Lewis showed flashes of his old self during the game, but he has slowed down in the past three weeks. Replacement Priest Holmes showed some great acceleration. Fullback Sam Gash has had problems pass-blocking the past two weeks.

Receivers -- C -- The starting wide receivers combined for one catch for 18 yards, which is just another day at the office for Patrick Johnson and Qadry Ismail. Sharpe had the big catch, but No. 2 tight end Ben Coates had a key 24-yard reception in the second half. Second-year receiver Brandon Stokley had three catches for 31 yards.

Defensive line -- A+ -- The Raiders, the No. 1 rushing team in the league, had only 24 yards on the ground. Defensive tackles Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams shut down everything inside against the run, and ends Rob Burnett and Michael McCrary kept pressure on quarterback Rich Gannon. Siragusa had the move of the day by piling on Gannon and forcing him out of the game with an injury in the second quarter.

Linebackers -- A+ -- All three linebackers were the Ravens' top tacklers. Outside linebacker Jamie Sharper had an exceptional game and finished with nine tackles. He also intercepted a pass and knocked another one down. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware, who may be the team's most improved player in the second half of the season, had seven tackles, as did middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

Secondary -- A+ -- All week, the Raiders talked about having solid, veteran receivers, but the Ravens' young cornerbacks, Duane Starks and Chris McAlister, shut them down. Starks led all defensive backs with five tackles and also had two interceptions.

Special teams -- A -- Jermaine Lewis gave the Ravens decent field position by returning three punts for 58 yards and a kickoff for 29. The Ravens' coverage units overwhelmed Oakland, and kicker Matt Stover converted on three of four field-goal attempts. These units have stepped it up in the past eight weeks.

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