Report card

Ravens 24, Jaguars 21

November 26, 2001|By Mike Preston

Quarterback -- A-

Elvis Grbac recovered fairly well after last week's poor showing. He threw some nice touch passes early and showed command of the offense during the game-winning, fourth-quarter drive. But Grbac still fumbled twice and was almost intercepted twice. He can't play that way against quality teams.

Offensive line -- B

The Ravens struggled with matchups early but became more confident as the game went on. They couldn't handle defensive tackle Gary Walker, who finished with six tackles. The right side still needs to improve pass protection, but a two-sack day from this group is a major achievement.

Running backs -- B

Starting running back Jason Brookins carried the load and carried it well. He ran hard into the fourth quarter. He had only 82 yards on 32 carries, but they were some tough yards. He also showed some improvement on his pass-blocking technique. Now, he just has to learn how to keep from fumbling, a recurring problem. Reserve running back Moe Williams was a nice change of pace in the fourth quarter, during which he made some critical catches.

Receivers -- B+

Second-year receiver Travis Taylor was more involved in the offense and came up with several key receptions in the first half. Tight ends Shannon Sharpe and Todd Heap exploited the Jaguars over the middle, especially Sharpe, who had six catches for 55 yards. Receiver Qadry Ismail wasn't involved in the offense much but came up big with several catches late in the game.

Defensive line -- B

The Ravens got a strong performance from a makeshift group, and strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware played well with his hand in the dirt, getting two sacks. Sam Adams also had a strong game, and both Adalius Thomas and Kelly Gregg performed well in spot duty. Defensive tackle Tony Siragusa didn't have a tackle, but he did head-butt coach Brian Billick after the game, his only hit.

Linebackers -- B

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had six tackles, and was excellent in pass coverage. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper continues to give a solid effort every week, and Brad Jackson also performed well on the outside. The Ravens might be looking to add more depth here in the future if the right players were available.

Secondary -- C+

Receivers Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell had 140 yards of receiving yards, which means the Ravens had a decent day. Cornerback Chris McAlister played Smith all over the field, not allowing him to have his usual matchup with Duane Starks. Starks and free safety Rod Woodson need to improve their tackling. It has become glaring.

Special teams -- C-

Kickoff coverage continues to hurt the team, and the Ravens also need to cut down on the penalties. Kicker Matt Stover, Mr. Automatic, missed a 41-yard try but also converted one of the same distance. Punter Kyle Richardson averaged 37.4 yards a punt, and only one was inside the 20.

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