Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Bengals 21 Ravens 9

November 07, 2005|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterbacks

D

Anthony Wright just doesn't get it done under pressure. He can play a decent game, but then disappear in crucial situations. If the Ravens had an offense, they might be able to bail him out. Kordell Stewart came in to relieve Wright and didn't throw a pass, which tells you something about his arm.

Offensive line

C-

This group had its one game of fame last week against the Steelers. Wright was under pressure a lot yesterday. If the Ravens are trailing late in games, it's almost impossible for them to rally because this group can't get it done as far as pass blocking. There is no consistency.

Receivers

C

Derrick Mason had three catches for 51 yards in the first half, but only two for 9 yards in the second. Tight end Todd Heap had four catches for 28 yards (plus a fumble that led to a Bengals touchdown), but all those 2-yard receptions are worthless. For some reason, these guys get swallowed up in the red zone.

Running backs

C-

Against a team like Cincinnati, back Jamal Lewis has to touch the ball more than 15 times. He had only 49 yards rushing, and he never got into any kind of rhythm. Chester Taylor was a nonfactor, too, with three carries for 9 yards and did little damage as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

Defensive line

C

Tackle Kelly Gregg was all over the field as a run stopper and a pass rusher. Right end Terrell Suggs was a nonfactor and needs to become more dominant against good offensive lines. The Bengals didn't have a 100-yard rusher, but Rudi Johnson was effective, gaining 97 on 29 carries.

Linebackers

D

Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas started slowly but finished with eight tackles. Bart Scott wanted to have a second consecutive strong performance, but he was shaky and didn't take control of the game. Tommy Polley led all tacklers with 10, but the Bengals had a solid running game inside.

Secondary

C+

Cornerback Chris McAlister complained about Chad Johnson pushing off on a 48-yard catch, but that push couldn't have moved a piece of paper. Strong safety Will Demps had several vicious hits in run support, but he's still a liability in pass coverage. Cornerback Samari Rolle turned in another strong effort.

Special teams

B

Scott had a jarring hit that caused a fumble on kickoff coverage. Matt Stover converted on field goals of 34, 32 and 31 yards. (What else is new?) B.J. Sams returned a kickoff 41 yards, and the Ravens' coverage units were superb except for a minor breakdown on one kickoff that was returned 29 yards.

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