Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 26 Begals 20

November 06, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B

Steve McNair came out smoking in the first half but cooled down in the second. He has been lucky this season that some of his bad passes have not been picked off. He could easily have had two returned for touchdowns yesterday. But he did complete 21 of 31 passes for 245 yards.

Running backs

C

Despite trying to get the running game going, the Ravens weren't really effective. Jamal Lewis had 72 yards on 24 carries and the team finished with 129 on 38 carries, but 30 yards came on a wimpy draw to Musa Smith at the end of the half instead of the Ravens attempting a long pass.

Offensive line

B-

McNair had plenty of time to throw and wasn't sacked. Both sides of the line did a nice job of creating cutback lanes for Lewis, but this group has to improve at the point of attack. The ground game could be jazzed up with a few more traps and runs where the linemen can block in space.

Receivers

B

Mark Clayton had eight catches for 73 yards, but he still needs to get his hands out and away from his body when pulling in passes. Tight end Todd Heap was effective with four catches for 84 yards. Overall, the tight ends have done a good job of run blocking most of the season.

Defensive line

B

The Ravens did a decent job of shutting down Rudi Johnson, but he did get some yards running off tackle. Tackle Kelly Gregg finished with five tackles and end Terrell Suggs had four. Suggs also did a good job working down the line of scrimmage and cutting off the cutback lanes.

Linebackers

B

Bart Scott had five tackles and hurried quarterback Carson Palmer a lot. Scott has the ability to run through or around most running backs trying to pass block against him. Ray Lewis had eight tackles, but a lot of them were back off the line of scrimmage. Adalius Thomas finished with three tackles.

Secondary

C-

Samari Rolle had an interception that he handed off to Ed Reed that resulted in a touchdown, but this group continues to give up big plays. Reed gave up a 26-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He should borrow a technique from Chris McAlister: If you get beat, just tackle the receiver.

Special teams

B+

The Ravens' kickoff team forced one turnover that eventually resulted in a touchdown. Matt Stover converted on four field goals, but still needs to improve his distance on kickoffs. The kickoff return team kept giving the Ravens good field position, especially in the second half.

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