Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 27, Buccaneers 0

September 11, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

C+

Steve McNair ran the game well. He's good at holding the ball until the last minute, but he short-hopped and also overthrew a few passes that should have been easy throws. The grade here would have been higher, but backup Kyle Boller fumbled a snap (just joking).

Offensive line

C+

The unit was impressive on the first drive. A couple of times there were holes, but the running backs missed them. The left side was effective on run blocking, and pass protection was decent for most of the game even though McNair took some shots in the second half.

Receivers

B+

Tight end Todd Heap worked the middle of the field well, and wide receiver Derrick Mason has a knack for finding holes in a defense. H-back Daniel Wilcox is underrated, but he will become more of a factor as the season progresses. He had three catches for 52 yards, including one for a touchdown.

Running backs

C

Jamal Lewis helped set the tone early with some good runs on the first drive, but he seemed to get tired as the game wore on. Backup Mike Anderson had 25 yards on seven carries and Musa Smith had two carries for 6. Overall, it was an effective job by the three. Nothing special, but consistent.

Defensive line

C+

It's hard to believe the Ravens held the Buccaneers to 26 yards rushing, and only one lineman had more than one tackle. End Terrell Suggs had five tackles and hurried the quarterback twice. Overall, the unit did a good job of occupying offensive linemen for the linebackers to make tackles.

Linebackers

A

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis led the team with seven unassisted tackles and had a sack. Outside linebacker Bart Scott made most of the big plays and finished with five tackles. Fellow outside linebacker Adalius Thomas had seven tackles and was solid on pass coverage. As usual, he played all of the field.

Secondary

A

The Ravens were never really tested, and when they were, they made big plays. Cornerback Chris McAlister returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown, and safety Ed Reed also had an interception. The Ravens did a good job of blanketing Buccaneers receiver Joey Galloway.

Special teams

B+

Rookie Sam Koch averaged 47 yards on six punts, and really hit some big ones early in the game. Matt Stover was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts, including one of 42 yards. The Ravens need to improve their kickoff coverage, but maybe they got tired of running down the field in the Tampa heat.

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