Report card


Report card

Quarterback F

Elvis Grbac is playing with a lot of fear. He looks very uncomfortable in the pocket, extremely nervous, but you can't blame him for the pounding he has taken this season. But he threw four interceptions yesterday, and that should not happen under any circumstances.

Offensive line D+

The middle of the offensive line had trouble picking up blitzes. Coach Brian Billick has tried to compensate for that by having his linemen slide to the middle, but then the running backs can't handle the other team's defensive ends. This group has major problems.

Running backs B

Second-year running back Jason Brookins continues to improve, and he had 89 yards rushing on 21 carries yesterday. He made holes that the offensive line didn't provide. Moe Williams brought some fresh legs to the backfield. The Ravens finished with 108 yards rushing, which meant that fullback Sam Gash had a good day lead blocking. The group's pass protection needs to improve, however.

Receivers C

Tight end Shannon Sharpe had seven catches for 78 yards, and he has been open over the middle the entire year. Qadry Ismail turned in another quality performance with six catches for 68 yards, and fellow wide-out Travis Taylor was back in the offense with five catches for 48 yards. Brandon Stokley had a touchdown reception of 21 yards, but also dropped a possible touchdown pass in the end zone.

Defensive line C

This unit got very little pressure on quarterback Tim Couch in the first half, and the Ravens let running back Ben Gay rush for 56 yards on 18 carries. The Browns had 95 yards rushing, most of them on off- tackle runs. Ends Michael McCrary and Adalius Thomas and tackle Sam Adams had solid games.

Linebackers B

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis played well, covering a lot of ground on outside runs and flare passes. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper continues to have a strong season either blowing up blocks for Lewis or making plays himself. Lewis finished with 13 tackles, and Sharper had seven.

Secondary D

The defensive backs had a very unproductive day. They failed to make tackles, and rookie Alvin Porter, replacing the injured Duane Starks, was called for two pass-interference penalties. Cornerback Chris McAlister also had a holding penalty, and he didn't play with enough composure.

Special teams C

The Ravens allowed too many yards (137) on four kickoff returns. Jermaine Lewis averaged 14.7 yards per punt return, and he has become a major weapon along with Matt Stover, who converted on a 42-yard field-goal attempt. Danny Kight's distance on kickoffs keeps getting shorter and shorter.

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