Ravens Report Card

October 05, 2004|By Mike Preston

REPORT CARD

Quarterback: Second year quarterback Kyle Boller has trouble scanning the defensive front and reading blitzes. The Ravens have to get a lead and have a strong running attack for him to be effective. He is often inconsistent on throws. The Ravens can win with safe, short passes against bad teams, but against the good ones, they're going to need a quarterback who can make tough throws and big plays.

GRADE: C-

Running backs: Halfback Jamal Lewis gets better as the game goes along, but he didn't have much opportunity in the first half with just seven carries for 31 yards. He was the major force in a fourth-quarter drive.

GRADE: C+

Receivers: Coach Brian Billick should just go ahead and insert receiver Randy Hymes as the starter even when Travis Taylor returns from injury. Hymes attacks the ball for catches; Taylor waits for them. Terry Jones is a decent replacement for Todd Heap at tight end but has inconsistent hands and doesn't run well after the catch. Help wanted: The Ravens are still in search of a vertical threat.

GRADE: C

Offensive line: The Ravens had too many holding penalties, especially in the middle with center Casey Rabach and guard Edwin Mulitalo. Once the Ravens fall behind, the weaknesses of right guard Bennie Anderson and right offensive tackle Orlando Brown as pass protectors are exposed.

GRADE: C-

Defensive line: Kansas City has good size on the offensive line, and the weight advantage gave the Ravens' lightweight line trouble. Chiefs offensive tackles Willie Roaf and John Welbourn destroyed Ravens ends Marques Douglas and Tony Weaver.

GRADE: D

Linebackers: Inside linebacker Ray Lewis was all miked up, but he was all jacked up by Chiefs guards Will Shields and Brian Waters. Lewis is the type who can run sideline to sideline, but not take on and shed blockers. Most of the Chiefs' yards came right up the gut.

GRADE: D

Secondary: This group had no clue. Cornerbacks Gary Baxter and Chris McAlister got schooled by slow receivers Johnnie Morton and Chris Horn. The Chiefs also found out that fifth defensive back Ray Walls is the weak link in the Ravens' nickel coverage.

GRADE: D

Special teams: If it weren't for special teams, the Ravens would have gotten blown out of the stadium. B.J. Sams had returns of 25, 20, 44 and 41 yards before he returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown. Matt Stover had a 50-yard field goal, and the Ravens had fantastic field position all night. The unit couldn't have played any better.

GRADE: A+

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