Mike Preston's Report Card

November 02, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B+

Joe Flacco was 20-for-25 for 175 yards. He didn't make a lot of tight, big-play throws, but he was nimble in the pocket, getting the ball off with bodies hurling around him. The touchdown pass to Derrick Mason was high and tight. It was perfect.

Running backs

B

Every time Ray Rice touches the ball, he is a threat to score. He has great acceleration and the ability to burst through tackles. Fullback Le'Ron McClain has become a good lead blocker, and it was nice seeing him get carries down the stretch.

Receivers

B-

Slot receiver Kelley Washington had four catches for 58 yards and came up big on third down. Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton worked well on the outside. Tight end Todd Heap was a weapon early in the game with several short receptions.

Offensive line

B-

The Ravens wore down the Broncos. Guards Ben Grubbs and Chris Chester got to the linebackers. For a player who missed the previous three weeks, tackle Jared Gaither played well. Tackle Michael Oher needs to cut down on the dumb penalties.

Defensive line

A-

Defensive end Terrell Suggs might have had his best overall game of the year despite dropping a couple of possible interceptions. Reserve tackle Justin Bannan made the first hit on a lot of plays. Tackle Haloti Ngata played well in limited action.

Linebackers

A

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis made seven tackles, but this game belonged to the outside linebackers, especially Jarret Johnson.The pursuit was excellent, and the Ravens maintained gap integrity, preventing the Broncos from running outside.

Secondary

A

The Broncos didn't challenge the Ravens downfield much, and cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washington were jumping the short routes. Safeties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry were disciplined. The Ravens tackled well.

Special teams

A

Steve Hauschka was 3-for-3 on field-goal tries, the Ravens smothered returner Eddie Royal, and Prescott Burgess made three tackles. Lardarius Webb returned a kickoff for a touchdown. This was the group's best showing in two seasons.

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