Scouting report Ravens (3-4) at Redskins (4-3) 1 p.m. Ch. 11

October 26, 1997|By Mike Preston

Ravens run offense vs. Redskins run defense -- Edge, EVEN

The Ravens haven't been able to run effectively during the past two games, but they should be able to pound away at the Redskins, who have the 29th-ranked run defense. Ravens guards Jeff Blackshear and Ben Cavil have to be dominating up front against tackles Chris Mims and Marc Boutte.

Ravens pass offense vs. Redskins pass defense

This matches the league's No. 1 passing offense against the league's No. 1 passing defense. While Ravens receivers Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander are quite a tandem, the Redskins' cornerbacks match up well because Cris Dishman can take away some of Jackson's physical advantages and Darrell Green can run with Alexander. Dishman and Green give the Redskins versatility in their coverages.

Redskins pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense

Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte is inconsistent and neither of his starting receivers is outstanding, but the Ravens have the worst pass defense in the league. The only way the Ravens can be successful is to get pressure on Frerotte, who has been known to have frequent meltdowns. Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary should handle left tackle Shar Pourdanesh.

Redskins run offense vs. Ravens run defense

Despite giving up big yards the past two weeks, the Ravens' defensive line probably will rebound against the Redskins, who are averaging only 99.1 rushing yards per game and will probably be without top running back Terry Allen (sprained knee).

Key matchup

Ravens slot receiver Jermaine Lewis vs. Redskins nickel back Darryl Pounds. Teams have had problems trying to handle Lewis in the slot, and the Redskins will be no different. Pounds doesn't have the speed to keep up with Lewis.

Special teams

Lewis, reserve safety Bennie Thompson and fullback Tony Vinson spearhead the Ravens' special teams, which have better return yardage and punt-return coverage than the Redskins. Redskins punter Matt Turk is having a better year than counterpart Greg Montgomery, but Ravens kicker Matt Stover is more reliable than Scott Blanton.

Intangibles

The Redskins are playing at home after a lousy performance in Tennessee last week. Washington is also 3-0 in the house that Jack Kent Cooke built, having beaten Arizona, Jacksonville and Dallas. The Redskins will be recharged against the Ravens.

Prediction

The Redskins will be looking for a big lift after their big emotional letdown against the Oilers a week ago. Redskins by 3.

Keys to a Ravens victory

1 Run the ball. With Cris Dishman and Darrell Green on the corners, the Ravens can't depend on the pass.

2 Control the Redskins' running game, especially their off-tackle plays.

3 Pressure Gus Frerotte, who has been known to buckle under the rush and has nine interceptions.

Pub Date: 10/26/97

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