Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 27 Steelers 0

November 27, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B

Steve McNair was only 18-for-24, but he was sharp in the first half when the Ravens took control of the game. McNair, though, was off in the second half because sometimes he fails to follow through and starts throwing off his back foot. For a veteran, he can lose focus until the game is on the line.

Offensive line

A

This group pounded the Steelers up front. It was just straight-on, man-to-man stuff. Right tackle Tony Pashos and right guard Chris Chester did a nice job of collapsing the back side, and left guard Jason Brown and left tackle Jonathan Ogden dominated at the point of attack.

Receivers

B+

Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend is still looking for tight end Todd Heap after that double move that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass. You got the impression the Ravens could have done more damage if they wanted to challenge the Pittsburgh secondary more often in the second half.

Running backs

A

Jamal Lewis punished the Steelers with 17 carries for 66 yards. The Ravens did a good job of running Lewis straight ahead instead of trying to send him around the perimeter. The key for Lewis was his vision. He was quick to find holes, and maybe that was because they were so big.

Defensive line

A

This group embarrassed the Steelers' offensive line. By the second half, the Ravens weren't using moves, but simply blowing by Pittsburgh. Ends Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce dominated. Tackles Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata were solid and shut down the Steelers' inside running game.

Linebackers

A

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be seeing outside linebacker Bart Scott in his sleep. Inside linebacker Ray Lewis had six tackles and outside linebacker Adalius Thomas had four and returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown. This was the men against the boys.

Secondary

A

Cornerback Chris McAlister didn't get a 15-yard penalty, so let's all applaud. He did finish with five tackles and knocked down two passes. Cornerback Samari Rolle also knocked down two passes, but, overall, the ferocious pass rush swallowed up Pittsburgh's passing game.

Special teams

B+

Rookie punter Sam Koch and the Ravens' coverage teams kept Pittsburgh pinned down most of the game. The average Steelers drive started at the 20, while the average Ravens drive started at the 31. Ovie Mughelli had three tackles on special teams, but he needs to stop the holding.

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