Scouting report

November 02, 1997|By Mike Preston

Ravens run offense vs. Jets run defense

It will be interesting to see how the Ravens play after crushing the Redskins on the ground last week. The Ravens have the league's No. 22 running attack, averaging 98.3 yards per game. Their offensive line matches up well with the Jets, who are ranked No. 8 against the rush but have lost inside linebacker Pepper Johnson for the season. -- EVEN

Ravens pass offense vs. Jets pass

The Ravens will have success through the air because the Jets don't have much of a pass rush and are weak at right cornerback with Otis Smith. Everybody goes after Smith. Look for wide receivers Michael Jackson, Derrick Alexander and Jermaine Lewis to have big games. -- RAVENS

Jets pass offense vs. Ravens pass

Uh-oh, this doesn't look too good for the Ravens. Jets quarterback Neil O'Donnell may not be playing well, but he might look like Joe Namath today. New York receivers Wayne Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson are playing well, and the Jets will attack cornerback Antonio Langham. Tight end Kyle Brady probably will have a big day, too. The equalizer might be the Ravens' pass rush. -- JETS

Jets run offense vs. Ravens run defense

The Jets have two big question marks on the left side of their offensive line in tackle Jumbo Elliott and guard Lonnie Palelei, but no one knows which Ravens defensive line will show up. The Ravens have the talent to shut down the run, but the front seven had problems against the Steelers -- who doesn't? -- and the Miami Dolphins, who had cutback runners. Jets running back Adrian Murrell is certainly more of a threat than Washington's Stephen Davis. -- EVEN

Special teams

The Ravens have better return units but are allowing 26.2 yards on kickoffs. The Jets are averaging 23.5 on kickoff returns, which makes for a dangerous situation. The Ravens have a serious edge in kicking and punting, as New York punter Brian Hansen returns for the first time in several weeks because of a knee injury. Jets special team aces Corwin Brown and Chad Cascadden against the Ravens' Bennie Thompson and Tony Vinson should be interesting to watch. -- RAVENS

Key matchup

Ravens right guard Jeff Blackshear and center Wally Williams against nose tackle Ernie Logan and left inside linebacker Dwayne Gordon. Logan is playing well and making plays, but Gordon is making his first start in place of the injured Johnson. If Blackshear and Williams dominate, the Ravens can play smashmouth football, have a balanced offense and control the clock. -- RAVENS

Intangibles

The Ravens are 3-1 on the road, the Jets are 2-2 at home. Despite the Ravens' superior talent on paper, Jets coach Bill Parcells has his team playing with confidence, almost an air of invincibility. -- JETS

Prediction

Forget about the matchups. The Jets are on a roll and will burn the Ravens' secondary more than the Ravens burn theirs. Jets by 3 in a shootout. -- JETS

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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