Scouting report

October 25, 1998|By MIKE PRESTON

Ravens run offense vs. Packers run defense

The Packers are tied for second in the league in run defense

while the Ravens are No. 19 in run offense. The Ravens have to get an outside game going because the Packers' front four of ends Vonnie Holliday and Reggie White and tackles Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson are much stronger than the Ravens' front five. -- EDGE PACKERS

Ravens pass offense vs. Packers pass defense

Almost every opponent has attacked the Packers' secondary, which allows 223.3 yards a game. A healthy Michael Jackson, at 6 feet 5, should have a nice game against cornerbacks Craig Newsome and Tyrone Williams, especially on lob or fade routes. The Packers don't have anyone to keep up with speedy wide-out Jermaine Lewis on passes over the middle, but the Ravens will miss tight end Eric Green, who is out a second straight game because of a ruptured air sac. -- EDGE RAVENS

Packers run offense vs. Ravens run defense

What run offense? The Packers are ranked No. 29 in the league, averaging only 83.7 rushing yards a game. With middle linebacker Ray Lewis back for the second straight week, the Ravens should be able to shut down the Packers' running game. A key is how well Ravens outside linebackers Peter Boulware and Jamie Sharper can handle the perimeter. -- EDGE RAVENS

Packers pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense

Quarterback Brett Favre is struggling partly because the LTC Packers have no running game and teams are going after Favre with the blitz. Favre also struggles against zone-blitz teams, and the Ravens will blitz him often. If Favre has time, he'll exploit cornerbacks DeRon Jenkins and Rod Woodson and nickel back Duane Starks. Wide receivers Antonio Freeman and Robert Brooks aren't game-breakers, but they are solid. -- EDGE PACKERS

Special teams

The Ravens' Kyle Richardson is averaging 45.4 yards a punt, while counterpart Sean Landeta, formerly of Towson State, is averaging 44.0. Packers kicker Ryan Longwell is 10-for-10 on field goals, while Matt Stover is 9-for-13, including six in a row. Green Bay has a talented kick returner in Roell Preston, but the Ravens counter with Jermaine Lewis on punt returns. -- EVEN

Key matchup

Packers kickoff return team vs. Ravens kickoff team: The Packers have the No. 1 receiving team in the league, their average drive starting around the 32. The Ravens are allowing teams to start around the 27-yard line, one of the worst in the AFC. The Ravens have also given up big returns in the third quarter and they must win the field-position battle to have a chance of winning. -- EDGE PACKERS

Intangibles

The Ravens have lost two straight and are catching Green Bay at a time when the Packers are struggling. But Green Bay, which also has lost two straight, has won 25 of their last 26 games at Lambeau Field. -- EDGE PACKERS

Prediction

The Ravens don't play well on the road. They don't play well at home, either. Packers, 17-10. -- EDGE PACKERS

Pub Date: 10/25/98

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