For the first time out and considering all the new faces, Tony Banks played reasonably well. He also played despite suffering a minor elbow injury to his throwing arm early in the game. Needs to get away from that tunnel vision to Qadry Ismail.
Halfback Priest Holmes rushed for 119 yards on 27 carries. At times he looked like Jim Brown, other times Walter Payton. He made the offensive line look better than it was by cutting back after the Steelers got a lot of penetration up the middle. Obafemi Ayanbadejo performed well, but needs to leave the half-back tap dancing to Holmes.
Qadry Ismail had seven catches for 102 yards including one for a 53-yard touchdown. Travis Taylor had a solid performance in his rookie debut, and both he and Ismail blocked well Neither one of the All-Decade tight ends, Shannon Sharpe or Ben Coates, were factors as far as receptions, but they could make the All-Decoy team after yesterday.
Offensive line B
This group dominated the Steelers and got a lot of surge from left tackle Jonathan Ogden and left guard Edwin Mulitalo. By the end of the game, the Ravens were running right a lot behind guard Orlando Bobo and tackle Harry Swayne after wearing down the Steelers. Mike Flynn gets the Mr. Versatile award for playing both guard and center. Blitzburg had only one sack.
Defensive line A
The Ravens had only one sack, but they put pressure on quarterback Kent Graham all day. Who were the standouts. Tony Siragusa? Sam Adams? Michael McCrary? Rob Burnett? Pick all four of them.
Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis had only five tackles and did not lead the team. He'll be ticked off for next week's game. Ten per game is the magic number. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper played reason-ably well considering he is suffering from a knee injury. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware gets the courage award for twice stuffing Steelers fullbacks on lead draw plays. Outstanding.
Cornerback Duane Starks knocked down several passes to rookie receiver Plaxico Burress on fade patterns. Both safeties played well in run support, but this team still gives up too many passes over the middle. Sounds like something for coordinator Marvin Lewis to look into before the Jaguars come to town next week.
Special teams B
Place-kicker Matt Stover converted on all three field-goal attempts and crushed several kick-offs. Punter Kyle Richardson also pinned the Steelers down inside the 20 with his punts. Cover units were solid but this group needs to ease up on the stupid penalties, which hurt the team early in the game.