Ravens Report Card

Ravens Gameday

December 15, 2008|By MIKE PRESTON | MIKE PRESTON,mike.preston@baltsun.com



Joe Flacco looked like a rookie. He was misfiring, as a lot of passes sailed. He could have made some throws into the flats for yards but tried to force the ball downfield. Ben Roethlisberger made plays. Flacco didn't.



The Ravens finished with more than 100 rushing yards, and Flacco had time to throw. When he didn't, it was more the result of coverage than the Ravens getting beat up front. The Ravens did a nice job of handling outside linebacker James Harrison.



Derrick Mason was open for two possible long touchdown passes, but Flacco couldn't make the connections. Mark Clayton wasn't much of a factor except on hitch passes, and tight end Todd Heap had one catch for 24 yards.



Le'Ron McClain finished with 82 yards on 23 carries, but his longest run was only 10 yards. He never got into any continuity with the offense. The Ravens definitely missed rookie Ray Rice because he has better hands than Willis McGahee.



End Trevor Pryce plays well, and he was on Roethlisberger a couple of times. Tackles Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan turned in stellar games, and the Ravens don't miss much when reserves Marques Douglas and Brandon McKinney are in the game.



Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had a strong game as far as pass rushing. Inside linebacker Bart Scott had a strong game against the run with eight tackles. Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was solid, but inside linebacker Ray Lewis appeared tired.



Until the last drive, this group had played well and smothered the Steelers' passing game, particularly cornerback Fabian Washington. But on the last drive. Roethlisberger took it apart, completing simple out patterns.



This was one of their better games. Both Yamon Figurs and Jim Leonhard had long returns, and Matt Stover connected on three field goals. The coverage game on kickoff and punt returns was solid. Safety Tom Zbikowski had two tackles.

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