Mike Preston's Report Card

Ravens 20 Chiefs 10

Ravens Gameday

December 11, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B

Steve McNair started slowly, but that's not unusual. The Ravens' defense allows him time to warm up. McNair had a strong second half, and he made the plays he needed to make. Most of his passes were of the short variety, and the Chiefs couldn't stop him when he rolled out.

Offensive line

B

Pass protection was good most of the game, and the Chiefs failed to get a sack. The last drive was quite impressive, but Jamal Lewis made most of his rushing yards on his own during the game. The goal is for this team to run the ball, and this group still struggles, especially at the interior positions.

Running back

B

Lewis had 81 yards on 24 carries. They were tough yards, and he earned his paycheck. There were times he carried four or five Chiefs for extra yards. The Ravens were smart in not trying to get him outside, instead staying within the tackles. Fullback Ovie Mughelli lost a fumble.

Receivers

A

If given time, the receivers can improvise on the fly with McNair. Mark Clayton had five catches for 112 yards, including the 87-yard touchdown. Derrick Mason had five catches for 68 yards and rookie Demetrius Williams had a big catch in the second half for 33 yards.

Defensive line

A

This group overwhelmed the Chiefs. Tackles Aubrayo Franklin, Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg won their battle inside and ends Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce were dominant. Very few teams have handled Kansas City up front. The Ravens swarmed and were relentless.

Linebackers

A

Outside linebacker Bart Scott had eight tackles, one behind yesterday's leader, Suggs. Fellow outside linebacker Adalius Thomas had three, and he and Scott combined for two sacks. Inside linebacker Ray Lewis finished with six tackles, and he made the Chiefs' Larry Johnson change directions several times.

Secondary

B+

Cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister had little trouble controlling the Chiefs' receivers. Of course, McAlister can't go one game without a penalty. Safety Ed Reed had two interceptions mainly because he played where he belonged instead of trying to jump routes.

Special teams

C-

Matt Stover converted his two field-goal attempts, but it wasn't a good day for special teams. This group gave up a long kickoff return, and Derrick Martin had two costly penalties. Cory Ross looked like he could fumble a punt at any time.

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