Report card

November 05, 2001|By Mike Preston

Quarterback C

Randall Cunningham played reasonably well and made some tough throws to the far sidelines. But he has to cut down on the fumbling, which might come back to haunt the Ravens in tight games. But he has won the past two games in place of injured Elvis Grbac, and that's the bottom line.

Offensive line C-

Coach Brian Billick has tried a number of combinations on the right side, but this team just doesn't have the players. The team got a solid effort from left guard Edwin Mulitalo and left tackle Jonathan Ogden, but it will have to compensate for the right side for the rest of the year.

Running backs C-

Jason Brookins ran hard and tried to cut back several times on runs to take advantage of the Steelers' quick, pursuing defense, but there weren't many holes. Fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo was effective as a receiver, but he still needs to improve on pass blocking.

Receivers B

The Steelers feared receiver Qadry Ismail so much they gave him a lot of cushion to work with on the sidelines, and he had five receptions for 53 yards. But each week tight end Shannon Sharpe comes up with the big plays, and Cunningham needs to find him more often over the middle.

Defensive line A-

The Steelers challenged the Ravens up front, and the front four responded with a stellar effort against one of the best offensive lines in the league. Tackles Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams each got a lot of penetration and collected seven tackles apiece, while end Michael McCrary had six tackles, including one sack.

Linebackers B

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis turns it up a notch when he competes against great running backs, and he put some shots on the Steelers' Jerome Bettis. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper had eight tackles, one behind Lewis. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware had five.

Secondary C

Cornerback Duane Starks is getting picked on every week, and until he plays better, teams will continue to go after him. After being in the league for four years, he shouldn't be making mistakes like peeping into the backfield at the quarterback instead of watching the receiver. Even stranger is that the Ravens don't get him a lot of help. The Steelers hit on this group for a lot of short to intermediate passes. It wasn't a great day for strong safety Corey Harris, either.

Special teams B+

Return specialist Jermaine Lewis had almost as much return yardage as the team in total offense. Lewis' 53-yard kickoff return set up the Ravens' only touchdown. Punter Kyle Richardson was effective, and the Ravens' kickoff and punt teams were fairly solid. Matt Stover converted on field goals of 25 and 39 yards.

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