Tony Banks had a slow start, but he was hot in the second half. Teammates enjoy being around Banks, but yesterday he may have emerged as a true offensive leader with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes.
Offensive line B
Actually, the Ravens could have run the ball better, but they fell behind early and had to pass to catch up to the Jaguars. The pass protection was decent for most of the afternoon. Left tackle Jonathan Ogden played a near perfect game against Pittsburgh last week, and was close to that level again yesterday.
Running backs C+
Halfback Priest Holmes had only 10 carries for 54 yards, but he ran hard and got stronger as the game went on. Fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo had seven catches for 53 yards, and he brings a lot of energy to the offense.
It wasn't a spectacular day for the receivers, but they showed a lot of guts. Moments after getting an IV on the sideline, Jermaine Lewis caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the fourth period. Rookie Travis Taylor had four catches, two for touchdowns, from a position that he had never played.
Defensive line C+
As expected, the Ravens shut down the run, and the Jaguars' best play was the draw. But the Ravens needed more inside pressure on quarterback Mark Brunell because most of it came from the outside. Jacksonville also did a nice job of hitting some short routes to avoid the pressure.
After having only five tackles last week, middle linebacker Ray Lewis returned to form with 11 yesterday to lead all tacklers. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware had two sacks, and weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper was outstanding with five tackles, one knocked-down pass and two forced fumbles.
Cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Duane Starks are still young, and they were taken to school yesterday by one of the best receiver tandems in the league in the Jaguars' Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. Smith ran every route known to mankind on both cornerbacks. Call it a bad day at the office for McAlister and Starks. Here's some advice, fellas: Don't talk so much smack before the game.
Special teams C
Punter Kyle Richardson and kicker Matt Stover performed poorly in the first half, Stover on kickoffs. Stover's short kicks led to Jacksonville getting good field position. He corrected that in the second half and hit a 44-yard field-goal attempt. The Ravens' kickoff coverage team also needs some work.