Mike Preston's Report Card

December 28, 2009|By Mike Preston

Quarterback

C

Joe Flacco threw some nice fades to tight end Todd Heap. He also had some nice timing patterns down with Derrick Mason on the slant in. But Flacco has a nasty habit of patting on the ball when he gets pressured a lot, and he can't do that in the NFL.

Offensive line

C

The Ravens were solid for a half, but Pittsburgh's pass rush wore them down in the second half. Outside linebackers LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison easily handled Ravens offensive tackles Oniel Cousins and Michael Oher.

Running backs

B+

Starting running back Ray Rice got off to a slow start, but he became the game's most dominant player in the third period. Fullback Le'Ron McClain did a nice job of sealing the edges, but his feet seemed slow.

Receivers

C

Mason had seven catches for 77 yards, but he dropped a possible 21-yard touchdown pass to open the fourth quarter. Heap had two catches for two touchdowns, but it was mostly a quiet day for the Ravens' receivers. Defensive line

B+

Tackles Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata combined for six tackles and were both factors in stopping the run and putting pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. End-tackle Dwan Edwards had two tackles while end Trevor Pryce had some nice pressures.

Linebackers

C+

Dannell Ellerbe and Ray Lewis did a nice job of shutting down the run, but both struggled in pass coverage. Outside linebacker Antwan Barnes brought some heat, as did end-linebacker Terrell Suggs.

Secondary

B+

The Steelers were a good test for the Ravens, and Baltimore played reasonably well. There was some breakdown in coverages, but that happens against Roethlisberger. Despite penalties, Frank Walker played well, as did Domonique Foxworth.

Special teams

D

In a game like this one, special teams need to play well. The Ravens' performed poorly. There was a shanked punt and a high snap on a punt. The Ravens allowed an average of 32.3 yards on four kickoff returns, including one of 49 yards.

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