Mike Preston's Report Card

October 02, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON



Get used to it, folks. Steve McNair isn't pretty anymore. He'll trip over his feet and he'll throw gopher balls into the ground. The key is to have him still standing with the game in doubt in the fourth quarter, or to have the opponents play prevent defense.

Running backs


Jamal Lewis never got started. He had 34 yards on 15 carries, and the Ravens had a total of 56 yards on 21 attempts. Lewis said he turned into a cheerleader in the final two minutes. We don't disagree, even though there wasn't a lot to cheer about offensively during the game.

Offensive line


Anyone see Chargers outside linebacker Shawne Merriman? Left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden made him disappear during passing situations. The pass protection was OK, but the Ravens have to do a better job. There's not much to discuss about run blocking, because there was none.



Tight end Todd Heap caught four passes for 60 yards, including the game-winning touchdown. Receivers Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton each had four catches, but Mason dropped a possible touchdown pass down the left sideline, and tight Daniel Wilcox fumbled at the 1-yard line.

Defensive line


San Diego has a nice offensive line, and the group did a nice job on the Ravens' defensive front. The Chargers rushed for 150 yards on 41 carries. For the first time this season, the Ravens played against a quality offensive line. Only tackle Kelly Gregg had a big game with eight tackles.



Outside linebacker Bart Scott led all tacklers with 15 and had one interception. Inside linebacker Ray Lewis had 14 tackles. It was a solid game for Lewis, but he missed quite a few tackles and often seemed a step slow. Fellow outside linebacker Adalius Thomas was a nonfactor.



Cornerback Samari Rolle gave up another long touchdown, but he hasn't fully recovered from a foot injury. Safety Ed Reed had seven tackles. This group wasn't challenged in the second half because the Chargers went with the running game and threw only eight times.

Special teams


San Diego outperformed the Ravens here. Sam Koch had a 48-yard average on seven punts, but the Ravens gave up too much on kickoff returns (26.3-yard average). Punt returner B.J. Sams has to learn where he is on the field on long punts. He drifts too far back sometimes instead of making a fair catch.

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