Report card

October 15, 2001|By Mike Preston

Quarterbacks D-

Elvis Grbac wasn't close to being effective, especially after his second-quarter concussion. He had an interception that killed one drive and a fumble that halted another. He threw high on a lot of passes and came close to getting his receivers crushed. Backup Randall Cunningham played in a mop-up role, but he threw the ball extremely well and had much more zip on his passes than Grbac did. With this offense, it pays to be mobile.

Offensive line D

The group started out well but lost its composure in the second half. The Ravens couldn't handle Green Bay's pass rush, and the unit was hurt by the absence of starting left guard Edwin Mulitalo (knee injury). The Ravens have to be balanced on offense for this unit to be average at best. When this group shows up, the Ravens usually win. It was a no-show yesterday.

Running backs B-

They can't be held accountable for the offensive mess. Starting back Terry Allen ran hard, and second-year back Jason Brookins ran even harder. Coach Brian Billick has to get this kid more touches and fewer for Obafemi Ayanbadejo, whose fumble in the first quarter killed momentum.

Receivers D+

Wide-out Qadry Ismail continues to make big plays and has become the team's most consistent receiver. But for the most part, the receivers had a tough time getting open, and maybe it's time to look at the scheme. There is something missing in this offense. Tight end Shannon Sharpe turned in another reliable performance, but wide receiver Brandon Stokley still looks lost.

Defensive line D-

The group was bounced around on pass protection and applied little pressure on Brett Favre. The linemen forgot their lunch pails and hard hats. End Rob Burnett was called offside three times before the end of the third quarter, and end Michael McCrary had an encroachment penalty. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

Linebackers D-

This group spent most of the day in pass coverage, but the Ravens should have blitzed more in the first half, when Favre had all day to pass. The linebackers were fine in run support, even though the Packers did get some nice blocks on middle linebacker Ray Lewis. By the way, did anyone see Lewis or weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper in those passing lanes?

Secondary D-

A week ago, certain members of this group bragged about how they held the Titans' receivers to one catch. Yesterday, almost every receiver on the Packers' roster caught a pass. Cornerback Chris McAlister underestimated Green Bay's speed, and he paid for it by giving up several big plays. Fellow corner Duane Starks didn't have a good day, either, and as usual, fell asleep once or twice during the game. The pass rush didn't give the group much support, either.

Special teams B

For a team that relies a lot on field position, the Ravens need Matt Stover to get more distance on his kickoffs. But overall, these units improved upon their play from the previous two games. Punt returner Jermaine Lewis is a step away from returning one for a touchdown, and that was desperately needed yesterday. Kickoff and punt coverage was strong.

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