Report card

Ravens 18, Jaguars 17

Nfl Week 7

October 29, 2001|By Mike Preston

Quarterback B

Randall Cunningham played well. He made some nice throws and put the ball where it had to be, especially on Qadry Ismail's 2-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner. Coach Brian Billick says Elvis Grbac will be the starter next week if healthy, but Grbac will take a beating if he plays in Pittsburgh. Cunningham has to make better decisions regarding blitzes.

Offensive line C-

This group bailed itself out from a third straight poor performance with decent run blocking in the fourth quarter, but there needs to be drastic improvement if the Ravens want to make it to the postseason. Jacksonville got too much penetration at the line of scrimmage up the middle, and the Ravens allowed five sacks, most of them from the right side.

Running backs C

Jason Brookins ran hard and took control of the game's pace in the fourth quarter. The Ravens, though, still need to find a threat off the perimeter to stretch defenses. Fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo ran well, but his pass blocking was poor.

Receivers C

Cunningham got most of the group involved, especially tight end Shannon Sharpe and wide-out Ismail, who each had seven receptions. Sharpe was effective on mid-range plays across the middle, and Ismail ran his usual slant-in routes. Two catches by Sharpe were absolutely superb. The Ravens, though, need to get Travis Taylor more involved.

Defensive line C+

Right end Michael McCrary dominated left tackle Todd Fordham. Defensive tackle Sam Adams also played well, especially pushing the pocket on the pass rush. Fellow tackle Tony Siragusa wasn't asked to do much because the Ravens spent most of the day in a sub defense because Jacksonville went a lot with three and four wide-outs.

Linebackers B

They spent a lot of time on the ground last week because the Cleveland Browns got to their legs. That didn't happen yesterday. The Ravens were flying around the ball again. Middle linebacker Ray Lewis finished with six tackles and strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware had three, including one sack.

Secondary D+

The Ravens were victimized by too many big plays, just as they were the previous two weeks. Cornerbacks Duane Starks and Chris McAlister had their problems with Jacksonville's receivers, and Starks gave wide-out Jimmy Smith too much respect and cushion. Safeties Rod Woodson and Corey Harris each should have had interceptions, but they couldn't handle the passes.

Special teams C+

The Ravens probably will keep kicker Danny Kight around because he had three touchbacks on kickoffs yesterday, after Matt Stover had struggled with distance in previous weeks. Stover did convert two field-goal attempts. Jermaine Lewis had a 32-yard kickoff return, but he still looks indecisive on whether to field the kick or not. Kyle Richardson finally started punting the ball inside the 20-yard line again.

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