Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Pro Football

November 01, 2005|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

C+

Anthony Wright will drive you nuts during a game. At times he looks good, like when he steps up in the pocket and throws 15-yard passes to Derrick Mason. Wright twice missed open receivers for potential touchdowns in the first half. He overthrew Todd Heap and didn't see Mason.

Offensive line

C+

Left tackle Jonathan Ogden played perhaps his best game of the season. Overall, Wright had more time to throw than at any time this season. As a unit, the run-blocking still has to improve. Center Mike Flynn was ineffective all night. He was a major problem in trying to attack the Steelers in the middle.

Running back

B

Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor were exceptional in picking up blitzes and helping out on the edge with rushers. Taylor was effective as a receiver out of the backfield, catching five passes for 55 yards, but he should have had the last pass of the game that would have given the Ravens a first down.

Receivers

B

Offensively, the Ravens did some nice things to free up their receivers by using multiple formations. Mason worked the outside well, and Heap got open underneath. The Ravens finally got some production out of receivers Patrick Johnson and Randy Hymes even though they only had one catch each.

Defensive line

B

Tackles Maake Kemoeatu and Kelly Gregg were superb most of the game, and they shut down the Steelers' inside running game. Most of the Steelers' running yards came off tackle. Gregg and Kemoeatu kept the Steelers' offensive linemen off inside linebacker Tommy Polley.

Linebackers

B

Polley doesn't have Ray Lewis' strength inside, but he made some good hustle plays running down running backs on the outside. He led the Ravens with nine tackles. Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas had an interception in the first half that led to a field goal.

Secondary

C+

Cornerback Chris McAlister had problems with Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward, but Ward is one of the best in the game. It was a good matchup, and McAlister played reasonably well. For most of the game, the Ravens kept the Steelers in check. Pittsburgh could only move the ball with short passes.

Special teams

B-

Matt Stover made four field goals, but also missed a 43-yarder. The Ravens gave up a kickoff return of 59 yards in the first half, but they also gave the offense decent field position by averaging 18.8 yards on four kickoffs. Aaron Elling was short on kickoffs to start, but was getting more distance in the second half.

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