Mike Preston's report card

December 24, 2007|By Mike Preston

Quarterback: Rookie quarterback Troy Smith did OK for his first start. He was erratic at times, and fortunate not to have two or three passes picked off. He'll be sore this morning from the beating he took. Grade: C-.

Offensive line: The Ravens had problems running the ball, and Seattle stacked the line of scrimmage. Rookie right tackle Marshal Yanda has trouble with speed rushers, and left tackle Jonathan Ogden has several leg injuries. Grade: D.

Running backs: Starting halfback Willis McGahee left the game in the first quarter with fractured ribs. Backup Mike Anderson ran hard but had a fumble that changed the complexion of the game. Grade: C-.

Receivers: The Ravens don't give this group a chance to succeed because they don't change up the routes and have no imagination. Smith stares down Mark Clayton too much. Grade: C.

Defensive line: As a unit, the group held together for a while, but the Ravens stayed on the field too long. Tackle Kelly Gregg got shoved around for the first time this year, and Seattle had success running behind its guards. Grade: C-.

Linebackers: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs didn't have a sack, but he brought a lot of pressure. Bart Scott has to do a better job of taking on running backs when rushing the passer. This group pursued well. Grade: C.

Secondary: Actually, the group has improved, but not to the level where it needs to be in the NFL. It makes plays but not consistently. Grade: D.

Special teams: Gary Stills led the Ravens' special teams tacklers with two. The Ravens weren't consistent in coverage, and returner Yamon Figurs has to run north and south, instead of east and west. Grade: C.

Coaching: Brian Billick was conservative. In a game like this, why not gamble? Where were the gadget plays? Where were the reverses on returns? What took so long to run the no-huddle? He should have taken a few more shots downfield. Billick was content to try to hang around instead of just cutting it loose. Grade: C-.

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