Mike Preston's Report Card

January 11, 2010|By Mike Preston

Quarterback

C-

Trent Dilfer, oops, Joe Flacco completed only four of 10 passes for 34 yards, but that was all he needed to do to win. Flacco also played hurt, but getting a 24-point lead in the first quarter doesn't happen every week.

Running backs

A

Running back Ray Rice set the tone for the game with an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. With Willis McGahee also running well, and Le'Ron McClain as the lead blocker, New England had no chance.

Offensive line

A

This group steamrollered the Patriots. The Ravens ran at will inside, outside and in the parking lot. The Patriots will see guard Marshal Yanda pulling down the line in their sleep. Who had a bad game? Better question is: Who didn't have a good one?

Receivers

C

They basically had the day off, except for a couple of key third-down conversions to Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton. Todd Heap has become effective as a blocker, and guard Chris Chester moves people as a run-blocking tight end.

Defensive line

A

New England's interior offensive line couldn't run-block against defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg, and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards got pressure as a pass rusher. A big welcome back to defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs.

Linebackers

A

The Ravens gave Patriots quarterback Tom Brady problems by moving these guys around. They got a lot of push up front with Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe. Jarret Johnson was moved inside to rush Brady, too. It was a well-devised scheme.

Secondary

A

This much-maligned unit was outstanding. It was clear these guys studied a lot of film because they smothered New England's receivers. Tackling had been a problem all season, but not Sunday. At times, the Ravens were intimidating.

Special teams

B+

Sam Koch had two punts inside the 20. The Ravens averaged 20.3 yards on three kickoff returns and 17 on two punt returns. The Ravens covered their squib kickoffs nicely, but they did allow the Patriots 28 yards on a punt return.

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