Mike Preston's report card

Ravens Gameday

November 06, 2007|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

F

Steve McNair looked tired and old. He couldn't hold onto the football when he should have tucked it away. He threw passes into the dirt and often threw behind receivers. McNair had three turnovers, and they played a major part in the Ravens' loss.

Offensive line

F

This group looked tired and old, too. Left tackle Jonathan Ogden looked like a player who hasn't played in two months. Center Mike Flynn allowed too much penetration and right tackle Adam Terry allowed too much pressure off the perimeter.

Running backs

C

The offense's only saving grace was Willis McGahee. He played hard and gained yards despite having little room to run. As for rookie fullback Le'Ron McClain, he needs to lose the attitude with all those stupid penalties every week.

Receivers

D

Did anybody see wide-outs Mark Clayton, Derrick Mason and Demetrius Williams? The Steelers blanketed the Ravens' vanilla passing game and the team was left with throwing passes into the flats. If Williams wants to become a big-time receiver, he needs to learn to hold on to passes.

Defensive line

B

This group didn't play badly, but it didn't have a chance because Pittsburgh got good field position from turnovers. The Steelers had trouble running the ball, especially up the middle against tackles Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg and Justin Bannan.

Linebackers

C

Give this group credit. The linebackers played hard to the final whistle. Inside linebackers Ray Lewis and Bart Scott held their own in shutting down the run, but the Ravens - particularly outside linebacker Terrell Suggs - missed a lot of sack opportunities.

Secondary

F

Starting cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle did not play, and replacements Corey Ivy, Derrick Martin and David Pittman were easy prey for the Steelers. The secondary struggled with miscommunication earlier in the season. Last night, it just got physically whipped.

Special teams

C

Punt returner Ed Reed needs to learn how to handle the ball properly in certain situations. His fumble cost the Ravens one touchdown. The Ravens' kickoff return team did a nice job, but punter Sam Koch seemed to struggle with the heavy, rain-soaked ball.

Coaching

F

In their past two games, the Ravens haven't looked ready to play. The passing game has no sophistication, and the Steelers smothered the Ravens' receivers. The Ravens turned in another bomb on national TV, and Brian Billick has to take a long look at his effectiveness.

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