Our condolences to Kyle Boller, who deserves much better than the beating he took yesterday. Still, he turned in a solid effort, completing 18 of 30 passes for 184 yards. He had a couple of good moments and a couple of bad ones - pretty much what you expect from a good backup.
Willis McGahee should get a Purple Heart for running behind this offensive line. There were a few times he had holes, but McGahee got a lot on his own. He finished with 61 yards on 25 carries. But inside the red zone, he still needs to run hard and straight. The tap dancing has to stop.
This was ugly. Rookie tackles Jared Gaither and Marshal Yanda were slow off the ball and couldn't handle the Rams' speed outside. Left guard Jason Brown might have played his worst game in two years, and center Chris Chester looked lost at times.
Derrick Mason (five catches, 79 yards) worked the short and intermediate routes well. But the Ravens need other targets because Mason's body might not hold out. The Ravens finally went long a couple of times to Demetrius Williams. The plays weren't well designed, as the chuck-it-up pass is back.
Kelly Gregg had a great game (seven tackles), spending a lot of time in St. Louis' backfield. He and fellow tackle Haloti Ngata (seven tackles) were too strong and physical for the Rams. Tackle Dwan Edwards, starting for Trevor Pryce, made an impact with four tackles.
The Rams had no answers for Bart Scott, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. For the first time this season, Scott and Suggs consistently pressured the quarterback. Lewis had a team-high 10 tackles, and the linebackers got nice drops, even on some of those three-step-drop passes by Gus Frerotte.
The Ravens dominated early on the back end and set the tone for the game. The first two sacks were coverage sacks because the Ravens smothered St. Louis receivers. The Rams had a couple of chances to make big plays, but Frerotte was either off the mark or his receivers dropped passes. Frerotte made the Ravens' defense look invincible.
Long live Matt Stover. End of conversation.