Mike Preston's Midseason Report Card

November 15, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON

Quarterback

B

Out of eight games, Joe Flacco has played poorly in only one. He has made improvements from a year ago but is not in the elite class yet.

Running backs

B

The three-headed monster has become one named Ray Rice, and other than Flacco, he has been the team's top offensive weapon.

Receivers

C+

There's no legitimate No. 1 receiver, but just about everyone has chipped in. Kelley Washington has been a pleasant surprise, but the Ravens still lack speed on the outside.

Offensive line

C

For a group that has been banged up, the unit has played fairly well. Lately though, it has struggled to pick up blitzes.

Defensive line

C+

Age and injuries are starting to show. The Ravens are fine against the run but struggling to get to the quarterback. If the Ravens are to win consistently in the second half, they have to get more QB pressure.

Linebackers

C

Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson has been exceptional. Middle linebacker Ray Lewis has played well but is trying too hard to make big plays. The Ravens need help at the other outside position, especially in pass coverage.

Secondary

D

Hopefully, the Ravens will find a cornerback in next year's draft. Aside from the Denver game, there haven't been many big hits coming from the safeties, either.

Special teams

C

Punter Sam Koch has been steady, and the Ravens might have found their returner in Lardarius Webb. Coverage has gotten better the past four games, but the Ravens still haven't found a reliable kicker.

Coaching

C

The offense has no identity, and the defense is giving up big plays. The Ravens are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL, which shows a lack of discipline. Coach John Harbaugh says he'll take the blame, and he should.

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