Ravens At Packers

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis., 1 p.m., Ch. 13

October 14, 2001


Ravens rushing vs. Packers run defense -- PACKERS

Terry Allen found a rhythm with the offensive line last week against the Titans, showing vision on his cutback runs to produce 108 yards rushing. But center Mike Flynn has his biggest chore of the season in moving mammoth Packers NT Gilbert Brown. The Ravens could be missing LG Edwin Mulitalo, a powerful run blocker who is questionable with a knee injury and may not go on a possibly rain-soaked turf. Green Bay is second only to the Ravens in run defense, giving up an average of 65.5 yards a game despite allowing a generous 3.7 yards per carry.

Ravens passing vs. Packers pass defense -- RAVENS

Ravens QB Elvis Grbac is second in the NFL with 1,068 yards passing and threw three passes of 30-plus yards vs. Tennessee. Flanker Travis Taylor is living up to expectations with 170 yards the past two games, and split end Qadry Ismail has caught at least one pass for over 23 yards each week. Green Bay is stingy on big plays with a seasoned secondary that includes talented safeties Darren Sharper and LeRoy Butler. But the statistics posted by the Packers' second-ranked pass defense may be inflated from playing Detroit, Washington, Carolina and Tampa Bay.

Packers rushing vs. Ravens run defense -- RAVENS

RB Ahman Green is the NFC's leading rusher with 385 yards yet has slowed down recently. In the past two games, Green did not crack 60 yards against Carolina and Tampa Bay. The Ravens simply refuse teams to run against them, keeping their first four opponents below 3 yards per carry. Last week, the Ravens blanketed Titans Pro Bowl running back Eddie George, who managed just 26 yards on 13 attempts.

Packers passing vs. Ravens pass defense -- EVEN

The matchup is a matter of pride -- QB Brett Favre vs. the Ravens' attacking defense. The Ravens need to go after Favre and bring him down quickly. The only three-time MVP in league history, Favre can carry the Packers if the running game falters. He has completed 65.4 percent of his passes, throwing for nine TDs while getting intercepted six times. The Ravens have the league's best pass defense and have held opponents to a league-low third-down conversion rate of 24.1 percent. Last Sunday, the Ravens' secondary gave up just one completion to a wide receiver.

Special teams -- RAVENS

Green Bay has struggled in the battle for field position. The Packers rank in the bottom five in punt and kickoff returns, and their kickoff coverage team has allowed three returns of 35 or more yards. Green Bay return specialist Allen Rossum has been hampered with a hamstring injury. The Ravens gave up their only touchdown to the Titans on a blocked punt and rank 28th in the NFL in kickoff coverage, allowing nearly 27 yards per return.

Intangibles -- EVEN

The Ravens are 7-1 in their past eight road games, and the Packers are 7-1 in their past eight home games. The forecast calls for a windy, rainy day at Lambeau Field, which may neutralize some of the Ravens' speed on defense as well as hinder Favre's ability to scramble. This begins another long road stretch for the Ravens, who play four of their next five away from PSINet Stadium.

Prediction -- RAVENS

This Ravens defense has never faced a quarterback like Favre. But Favre doesn't want to face a defense like the Ravens'. Ravens, 16-6. -- Jamison Hensley

Inside slant

Ravens scout George Kokinis sizes up the Packers:

Strength:Short passing game. The Packers almost use it as part of their running game. They send their outside receivers vertical and hit a short dump-off pass to RB Ahman Green, who is their receiving leader with 22 catches. Once Green gets the ball in space, he's dangerous.

Weakness: Return game. Green Bay is ranked 28th in the league in punt returns and 27th in kickoff returns. A lot has to do with return specialist Allen Rossum being out with a hamstring injury. He might return today.

Matchup to watch: Ravens offensive tackles (Jonathan Ogden on the left and Sammy Williams and Erik Williams on the right) vs. Packers defensive ends (Vonnie Holliday and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila). Holliday and Gbaja-Biamila have combined for 12 sacks, and Holliday leads the linemen with 17 tackles. Gbaja-Biamila is in the mold of Jevon Kearse, with a good first step and really good flexibility on his bend to the corner.


Ravens offense

WR 87 Qadry Ismail

LT 75 Jonathan Ogden

LG 64 Edwin Mulitalo

C 62 Mike Flynn

RG 66 Bennie Anderson

RT 78 Sammy Williams

TE 82 Shannon Sharpe

WR 89 Travis Taylor

QB 18 Elvis Grbac

RB 29 Terry Allen

FB 32 Sam Gash

Packers defense

LE 90 Vonnie Holiday

NT 93 Gilbert Brown

DT 71 Santana Dotson

RE 91 John Thierry

SLB 59 Na'il Diggs

MLB 55 Bernardo Harris

WLB 54 Nate Wayne

LCB 34 Mike McKenzie

RCB 37 Tyrone Williams

SS 36 LeRoy Butler

FS 42 Darren Sharper

Packers offense

WR 84 Bill Schroeder

LT 76 Chad Clifton

LG 68 Mike Wahle

C 58 Mike Flanagan

RG 62 Marco Rivera

RT 65 Mark Tauscher

TE 88 Bubba Franks

WR 86 Antonio Freeman

QB 4 Brett Favre

RB 30 Ahman Green

FB 33 William Henderson

Ravens defense

LE 90 Rob Burnett

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