Ravens rushing vs. Redskins run defense
Under new defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, the Redskins' rush defense has risen from 27th in the NFL a year ago to eighth this season. The Redskins are giving up just 95.2 yards a game and 4.0 a carry. DTs Dana Stubblefield and Dan Wilkinson are good run defenders, and MLB Derek Smith is second on the team with 46 tackles. The Ravens rank eighth in rush offense. They will play without C Jeff Mitchell (ankle), but should have LT Jonathan Ogden back.
Ravens passing vs. Redskins pass defense
The Redskins have made an even bigger climb in pass defense, going from 26th to fifth. CBs Champ Bailey, Darrell Green and Deion Sanders have collected five of the team's seven interceptions. The pass rush has generated 19 sacks, led by DE Marco Coleman's career-high nine. Coleman will face veteran RT Harry Swayne. QB Tony Banks is averaging just 5.51 yards per pass attempt, but has tossed only four interceptions. The Ravens rank 24th in pass offense.
Redskins rushing vs. Ravens run defense
Redskins RB Stephen Davis leads the league with 146 carries, and is second with 597 yards, an average of 4.1. But the Redskins' offensive line is nicked with injuries and will be vulnerable against the Ravens' aggressive defensive front. Baltimore is giving up just 50.7 rush yards a game and 2.4 per carry, both league lows. MLB Ray Lewis had 13 tackles against Jacksonville.
Redskins passing vs. Ravens pass defense
Redskins QB Brad Johnson is completing 65.9 percent, but with more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (five). His leading receiver is FB Larry Centers with 27 catches. The Redskins are thin at wide receiver, losing Michael Westbrook (season) and Irving Fryar (two weeks) to injuries. They may use Champ Bailey to inject some speed. Ravens FS Rod Woodson has interceptions in three straight games.
Ravens K Matt Stover leads the league with 63 points, 54 coming on field goals. The Redskins cut Michael Husted and signed rookie Kris Heppner last week. Deion Sanders will be replaced by James Thrash on punt returns. PR Jermaine Lewis is averaging 15.0. Redskins P Tom Barnhardt and the Ravens' Kyle Richardson both have 11 punts inside the 20. KR Corey Harris has yet to break a big return for the Ravens.
The Redskins launch a three-week tour of the AFC Central, following today's game with a trip to Jacksonville and a home game with Tennessee. The Ravens are finishing a seven-week stretch that featured five road games and two Sunday night games. The wear and tear of that schedule could surface today. Forget the rivalry. There is none with the players.
Ravens, 9-6. What happened to touchdowns? Right now, the Ravens biggest off-season signing was kicker Matt Stover.