Ravens Report Card

Steelers 20, Ravens 7

December 27, 2004|By Mike Preston

REPORT CARD

Quarterback: The Ravens' best play was Kyle Boller on the scramble. He has no receivers and a below-average offensive line. He can't throw a pass without staring down his receiver. And unless he gets better coaching and talent, Boller won't get much better in Baltimore.

GRADE: C-

Running backs: Jamal Lewis had 26 yards rushing on 14 carries, and Chester Taylor had 17 on three. There were no holes, and the running backs didn't break many tackles. The Ravens ran when they should have thrown, and threw when they should have run. The Ravens kept themselves off-balance.

GRADE: D

Receivers: Randy Hymes had four catches for 55 yards to lead all receivers. Question of the day: Why has he been on the bench for nearly two months? Rookie Clarence Moore had zero catches and one major drop. Tight end Todd Heap had three catches for 34 yards, but at times looked timid about going over the middle. The other tight ends need to learn how to pass block.

GRADE: F

Offensive line: This group opened few holes in the running game. Boller wasn't sacked, but he was planted on the ground most of the afternoon. Right tackle Ethan Brooks had trouble in pass protection, and there wasn't much explosion at the point of attack on the left or the right side.

GRADE: D

Defensive line: Sometimes Kelly Gregg and Maake Kemoeatu were getting pushed so far back they looked like linebackers. Between now and next season, the Ravens need to find a stud who can play the run and rush the passer. This wasn't fun to watch. It was a slow, brutal beating by Pittsburgh's offensive line.

GRADE: F

Linebackers: The Ravens had two linebackers who played well in Adalius Thomas, on the outside, and Ed Hartwell, on the inside. There were times when Hartwell had to fill his hole and also cover for fellow inside linebacker Ray Lewis, who missed several tackles. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs got pressure on pass rushes but wasn't much of a factor in the running game.

GRADE: D

Secondary: Safety Ed Reed had eight tackles, which meant he played a lot in run support. For some reason, this group has problems communicating, which often leaves receivers wide open. Overall, the group didn't play poorly because the Steelers stuck with the run.

GRADE: C

Special teams: Punter Dave Zastudil got lucky with rolls on several kicks, but it was not a great day for him. Matt Stover missed his second field-goal attempt in two weeks, but he's forgiven because he's been the team's most consistent offensive player since 1999. B.J. Sams returned a kickoff 42 yards but was held in check two other times.

GRADE: C

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