Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 15 Browns 14

September 25, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON



Steve McNair played poorly for three quarters, but he made some plays in the fourth at crunch time. McNair is still struggling in locating his receivers, but he gives this team confidence. But once the schedule becomes more difficult, confidence alone won't win games.

Running backs


Halfback Jamal Lewis had 86 yards on 21 carries, but the running game struggled. Lewis had a run of 21 yards in the third quarter in which he broke outside, and the old Lewis would have scored a touchdown. The running backs need to do a better job of pass protection and lead blocking.

Offensive line


The group is consistent only in its inconsistency. Right tackle Tony Pashos gets nailed weekly with being offside. There weren't many holes for Lewis to run through, and McNair was hurried 10 times and sacked twice. Good thing these were the Browns.



These guys came to play. Mark Clayton turned some short-yardage catches into nice gains, and his hands were excellent in grabbing some of McNair's passes. Tight end Todd Heap didn't become involved in the offense until the second half, but he was a major factor. As for Derrick Mason, he was unbelievable.

Defensive line


These guys dominated the Browns and kept the Ravens in the game while the offense struggled. Tackle Kelly Gregg had six tackles and ends Trevor Pryce and Adalius Thomas combined for eight tackles, including 2 1/2 sacks. The Ravens will finally get a true test Sunday against San Diego.



The Ravens threw a lot of blitzes at quarterback Charlie Frye. Linebackers Bart Scott and Ray Lewis combined for 15 tackles, but this group struggled covering backs and tight ends. Lewis didn't look good making tackles in the open field, but it was another impressive effort.



Cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister struggled. McAlister got caught looking in the backfield a couple of times, and receiver Braylon Edwards simply blew by Rolle for a 58-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Frye missed a couple of big-time opportunities on slant-ins run at Rolle.

Special teams


Matt Stover converted three field-goal attempts, including the wind-aided, 52-yard game-winner. The Ravens allowed too many yards on kickoff returns, and B.J. Sams wasn't much of a factor returning punts. Sam Koch averaged 39.2 yards on six punts but had three inside the 20. He also had a 53-yarder.

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