Ravens Report Card

Bengals 27, Ravens 26

December 06, 2004|By Mike Preston

Quarterback: Kyle Boller was 19-for-33 for 172 yards, and several of his passes were dropped. But he also waited way too long to throw to Kevin Johnson on a crossing pattern in the first half, and threw behind Clarence Moore on a slant-in route in the end zone in the first half. He's developing, but still struggling. GRADE: C-

Running backs: Chester Taylor rushed for 139 yards on 23 carries. There were times he appeared to be stopped but still gained 2 or 3 yards. He hides behind his blockers well. Fullback Alan Ricard played well, throwing effective lead blocks on the perimeter for Taylor. GRADE: B

Receivers: Clarence Moore needs to get tougher. Three times this season he has short-armed possible receptions across the middle, twice yesterday. He falls down immediately after catches because he is afraid to get hit. Receiver Travis Taylor makes difficult catches look easy, and the easy ones look hard. Welcome back, tight end Todd Heap. GRADE: D-

Offensive line: It was the line's best game in the past three. There were huge holes on the left side behind guard Edwin Mulitalo and tackle Jonathan Ogden. Overall, it looked like the linemen started to get their legs under them again. GRADE: B-

Defensive line: Linemen Kelly Gregg, Tony Weaver and Marques Douglas did a good job containing the run, but the Ravens need to get more pressure from this group in pass rushing, or at least someone who can collapse the pocket. GRADE: C

Linebackers: Ray Lewis had only seven tackles, but Bengals running back Rudi Johnson was afraid to go anywhere near him. Inside linebacker Ed Hartwell had a strong game with nine tackles. Terrell Suggs had a sack, but neither he nor Adalius Thomas had any big plays. That's unusual for Thomas. GRADE: C+

Secondary: This was a mess. Cornerback Chris McAlister may have had his worst game since his rookie season. The rest of the group was just as lost. Safety Will Demps had a strong game as far as run support. He is becoming one of the best tacklers on the team. He's also getting way too much practice. GRADE: F

Special teams: Matt Stover kicked four field goals and continues to be the Ravens' best offensive player. The Ravens did a nice job in punt coverage, but B.J. Sams has to run less east and west and more north and south in returning punts and kickoffs. His muffed punt at the end of the third quarter helped swing momentum the Bengals' way. The Ravens need to forget all the trick plays and just work on the fundamentals. GRADE: C+

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