Mike Preston's


January 14, 2007



Steve McNair wasn't comfortable in the pocket because the running game wasn't working. The Ravens' passing game is predicated on play-action passes. Even though Indianapolis played cover-2 to halt the long ball and big plays, the Ravens should have taken more shots downfield.

Offensive line


Left tackle Jonathan Ogden played surprisingly well against Colts end Dwight Freeney, but it was obvious that Ogden's hyperextended toe was still bothering him. The middle of the line couldn't stop penetration on pass plays, and the unit had several penalties that hurt.

Running backs


Jamal Lewis ran hard, gaining 53 yards on 13 carries, but there weren't many holes because the Colts crammed the line of scrimmage. The Ravens, though, should have kept running Lewis because he was their only weapon and might have been able to wear down the Colts.



Tight end Todd Heap had a costly fumble in the first half but made a big catch to keep a second-half drive alive. Derrick Mason never got involved in the offense, and the Colts did a great job of keeping Mark Clayton in front of them. The Ravens' offense was just too vanilla.

Defensive line


The group started slowly but got a lot of pressure on Peyton Manning in the second half. Terrell Suggs finished with seven tackles and Trevor Pryce had four. Tackle Haloti Ngata got penetration on a lot of running plays, but this group wore down on the Colts' last drive.



Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had 15 tackles and outside linebackers Bart Scott and Adalius Thomas combined for 15. Late in the game, the Ravens should have been more concerned about tackling instead of trying to rip out the ball for a turnover.



Chris McAlister took Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison out of the game. Fellow cornerback Samari Rolle gave up a couple of catches to Reggie Wayne, but none for a touchdown. If the Ravens had held onto several of Manning's passes, they could have turned the game around.

Special teams


Matt Stover converted field-goal attempts of 40 and 51 yards and actually got some distance on his kickoffs. The Ravens' kickoff and punt-coverage teams were outstanding, as were their return units. Rookie punter Sam Koch, though, has had better games.

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