Mike Preston's Report Card

October 30, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B

Steve McNair was hot in the first half, and threw more intermediate passes than he has thrown all season. He needs to hold onto the ball better and still has problems throwing passes into tight areas. He had a final quarterback rating of 121.5.

Running backs

B

Even though he fumbled on his second carry of the game, running back Jamal Lewis bounced back well. He finished with 109 yards on 31 carries and had a long run of 17 yards. He ran with strength and power. Now, he has to have a string of strong games instead of merely flashes.

Offensive line

B

There aren't many linemen who have a first half like left tackle Jonathan Ogden did. He dominated that entire side. Second-year player Jason Brown gets better every game, and right tackle Tony Pashos and right guard Keydrick Vincent were physical at the point of attack.

Receivers

C+

The Saints' cornerbacks wanted no parts of the Ravens' receivers, and their primary goal was not to give up big plays. That was OK, because Derrick Mason (six catches, 67 yards) likes to run those 12- to 15-yard comeback patterns. Tight end Todd Heap had three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive line

C+

This group wasn't challenged up front by the Saints' running game. For most of the afternoon, the line got in track stances and chased quarterback Drew Brees. End Trevor Pryce had one sack, but he and fellow end Terrell Suggs delivered a lot of pressure. Tackle Kelly Gregg had three tackles.

Linebackers

B

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had seven tackles in what may have been his best game of the season. Lewis knocked down two passes and had an interception. Outside linebackers Bart Scott and Adalius Thomas combined for 10 tackles.

Secondary

C

Safeties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry can tackle, but cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle have problems bringing down players. There is something missing on the back end of this defense, and maybe it's a communication problem. Everything seems to be a step slow.

Special teams

B

Cornerback Evan Oglesby led all special-team performers with three tackles. Sam Koch averaged 43.2 yards on six punts, and dropped two inside the 20. Matt Stover got reasonable distance on his kickoffs, but the Ravens have to do a better job in coverage.

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