Ravens Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 17, Redskins 10

October 11, 2004|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback: Kyle Boller runs scared and without a purpose. He can't read blitzes. He overthrew a wide-open Clarence Moore on a long pass, and also underthrew him on a long pass. Like he has so many times this season, Boller had trouble picking up blitzes. Now warming up in the bullpen: Anthony Wright.


Running backs: Coach Brian Billick and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh put this team at risk every week with their play calling because they won't give Jamal Lewis the ball. Let's try this one more time: The Ravens' only hope of winning is to run the ball as much as possible and keep it out of Boller's hands, and take the decision-making away from Billick and Cavanaugh.


Receivers: This group is often criticized for not getting separation, but it's the same complaint every year. It's not the receivers; it's the boring, vanilla scheme. Randy Hymes and Kevin Johnson are decent receivers. If the Ravens had more creativity, they would get open. Also, why is rookie Moore getting more opportunities than Johnson?


Offensive line: There were no holes, seams or cracks in the first half as both sides of the line failed to cut off penetration from the back side. Left guard Edwin Mulitalo and left tackle Jonathan Ogden dominated in the second half, opening holes for Lewis. The Ravens, though, have to do a better job of pass protecting for Boller.


Defensive line: If the line's job is to keep blockers off inside linebacker Ray Lewis, the group hasn't done a very good job the past two games. End Marques Douglas has been the group's most consistent player, but fellow end Tony Weaver has a habit of disappearing. Second-year player Jarret Johnson got penetration several times and came up with a couple of big hits.


Linebackers: This used to be the most dominating unit on the team, but Lewis and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs are having troubling taking on and shedding blocks against the run. Inside linebacker Ed Hartwell, after a slow start, is starting to play with more intensity. The most consistent performer has been Adalius Thomas who is playing equally strong against the pass as he is the rush.


Secondary: "Prime Time," cornerback Deion Sanders, finally showed up in prime time with an interception. He also knocked down several passes. Safety Ed Reed was the best player on the field, causing and returning a fumble for a touchdown, and also recovering a fumble. Washington found no answer for Reed on the blitz. For the first time this season, this was a cohesive unit. The Ravens also ran a lot of two-deep zones to take away the long pass.


Special teams: Nice call on the fake reverse to Sanders, which led to B.J. Sams scoring on a 78-yard punt return. The Ravens, though, are starting to get careless again with penalties. The coverage units kept the Redskins pinned down.


- Mike Preston

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