Ravens Report Card

Ravens Gameday

December 01, 2008|By MIKE PRESTON



When the Ravens' offense struggled early, quarterback Joe Flacco carried the unit with his running ability. He worked all areas of the field yesterday and had nice touch on the long passes.



Tackles Jared Gaither and Willie Anderson played well, but the Ravens struggled in the middle with guards Chris Chester and Ben Grubbs and center Jason Brown. The Bengals also got too much pressure on Flacco.



Mark Clayton had five catches for 164 yards, and he made plays, one as a passer. Derrick Mason was consistent with six catches for 91 yards, and tight end Todd Heap had four for 39. The ball got spread around.



It wasn't pretty, but running back Le'Ron McClain pounded away at the Bengals for 86 yards on 25 carries. Cincinnati wanted no part of trying to tackle him head on. Ray Rice had 11 carries for 41 yards.



End Trevor Pryce seems to be playing his best ball at the end of the season. Tackles Justin Bannan and Haloti Ngata and end Marques Douglas dominated the middle of the field. They shut down all the Bengals' inside running lanes.



Not only did this group wipe out the Bengals' running game, but it also kept constant pressure on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ray Lewis had seven tackles, and Bart Scott had five.



Except for early on, the Ravens weren't challenged much. When Bengals receivers got open, they couldn't hold on to the ball. Cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Fabian Washington did a nice job of running with the receivers.



Matt Stover made field-goal attempts of 27 and 21 yards, and punter Sam Koch averaged 47.3 yards, with a long of 56. The Ravens still need to improve at covering kicks and punts, but they played better.

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