Mike Preston's Report Card

Raqvens 27 Browns 17

Ravens Gameday

December 18, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

C+

Kyle Boller made big league throws, but at times he looked like he still belonged in Pop Warner. He's an asset as a backup but also showed why the Ravens struggled against quality teams when he was the starter. It wasn't bad for a player who has had limited repetitions.

Running backs

C+

Jamal Lewis had 109 yards on 22 carries, but one run was for 52 yards. It was a quiet 100-yard performance, and Lewis made most of the yards on his own again. Fullback Ovie Mughelli had a touchdown reception and a good day as a lead blocker.

Offensive line

C+

The Browns flushed Boller out of the pocket several times and sacked him once, but overall it was a good day pass-blocking. The line started out well but had no juice in the second half. This group has to do better at run-blocking, or neither Steve McNair nor Boller will be effective as far as using play action.

Receivers

A

This group and McNair compensate for a lot of offensive weaknesses. Demetrius Williams showed great speed and burst several times. Tight end Todd Heap had five catches for 58 yards. Next to left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, the best blocker on the team might be receiver Derrick Mason.

Defensive line

B

The Ravens had a field day with Cleveland right offensive tackle Kelly Butler, who stank up the joint. Ravens end Trevor Pryce dominated him and got two easy sacks. End Terrell Suggs had nine tackles and one sack. The Browns, though, had unexpected success running the ball.

Linebackers

C

Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas played a complete game and tied with Suggs for the team lead in tackles with nine. The Browns did a decent job of knowing where linebacker Bart Scott was at all times. Inside linebacker Ray Lewis had seven tackles but wasn't a major factor.

Secondary

C-

Cornerback Chris McAlister jumped several routes and took away the inside position from Cleveland receivers when they came to his side. Fans like to complain about cornerback Samari Rolle, but the Ravens are worse without him. Safety Ed Reed had some punishing hits. The Ravens gave up a lot of passes underneath and in the middle of the field.

Special teams

C

Kicker Matt Stover converted on field goals of 38 and 22 yards. The Ravens did a nice job of covering punts, and Sam Koch averaged 40.2 yards on five punts. The Ravens, though, are committing too many penalties that will hurt against quality teams.

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