Scouting report

November 29, 1998|By Mike Preston

Ravens run offense vs. Colts run defense

The Colts are the Bengals dressed in blue and white. This organization has gutted its best defensive players over the last three seasons. The Ravens should have no problems running on this team even if Indianapolis puts seven or eight players in the box. The Colts are ranked 29th against the run. Plus, starting defensive linemen Al Fontenot (arm) and Tony McCoy (eye) will not play. -- EDGE -- RAVENS

Ravens pass offense vs. Colts pass defense

Simply put, the Colts stink despite their investment of $40 million in cornerbacks Jeff Burris and Tyrone Poole. Wide receiver Jermaine Lewis and tight end Eric Green should have big games, especially Green over the middle. The key is quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who has been inconsistent the past three weeks. EDGE -- RAVENS

Colts run offense vs. Ravens run defense

The Colts have the No. 26 rushing attack but feature Marshall Faulk, whose cutback style could hurt the Ravens. The Ravens' linebackers are the best young trio in the league, but the best way to slow them down is to run traps or counters. Indianapolis has a solid offensive line, but the Colts are averaging only 88.5 rushing yards a game and the Ravens are allowing only 3.4 per attempt. Starting right guard Tony Mandarich is out with a back injury, so Ravens left defensive tackle James Jones could have a big day. EDGE -- RAVENS

Colts pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense

The Colts have offensive potential but one of their prime weapons, tight end Ken Dilger, has been kept in to pass protect for quarterback Peyton Manning. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison has big-play potential and the Colts will try to get several out of him. Expect the Colts to go after rookie cornerback Duane Starks. The key for the Ravens is to get pressure on Manning. -


Special teams

The Ravens' kickoff team has been poor, but the Colts' punt team has been worse, so punt returner Jermaine Lewis could have a big day. Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt has been superb, but has yet to deliver at crunch time. His counterpart, Matt Stover, has been hot during the second half of the season. - EDGE -- RAVENS

Key matchup

Manning vs. the Ravens' pass rush: If the Ravens can get to Manning early and get the crowd into the game, the rookie might struggle. Defensive end Michael McCrary, outside linebacker Peter Boulware and the Ravens' blitz can control this game. The Colts, however, have gone to maximum protection and allowed only two sacks in the last two games. - EDGE -- RAVENS


The Ravens want to establish a winning streak and are playing the franchise that left Baltimore 14 years ago. The Colts are the Colts. Enough said. - EDGE -- RAVENS


If the Ravens don't win this one, warm up the moving vans again. Ravens 20, Colts 12. - EDGE -- RAVENS

Pub date: 11/29/98


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