Defense faces pressure in getting to QB

Ravens notebook

Suggs, Boulware prepare for Rams' Pace, Turley

Pro Football

November 08, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The St. Louis Rams gave up five sacks in their 30-10 loss at San Francisco on Sunday, a performance unacceptable for a line that features high-profile tackles Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley.

Despite trading a second-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for Turley, the Rams' line play has been up and down this season, but the Ravens' pass-rushing combination of Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware should still face its biggest obstacles of the year tomorrow night at the Edward Jones Dome.

The Rams have allowed four or more sacks in three games yet have held teams to one sack or less in three. The Ravens are coming off their best pass-rushing game of the season, in which Suggs, Boulware and Tony Weaver all recorded sacks.

For Suggs, facing Turley, one of the league's most notorious hotheads, starts with having the right attitude.

"It's going to be very tough," said Suggs, who leads the Ravens with six sacks. "Both of them are two of the very best in the league. It's a tough assignment this week, but how bad do you really want to win? I really want to win bad."

Apparently, so did the 49ers on Sunday. Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was harassed on most of his 42 attempts.

"We just need to block the right guys," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "We got a little unsettled. The officiating and some of the things that happened shook us up a little bit in a lot of respects.

"I think that in the protection issues, we did not play with the intensity and the focus, offensively or defensively, that we have in the weeks prior to that."

Bumps and bruises

Receiver Frank Sanders strained his back Thursday and is questionable for tomorrow's game. Sanders said he would not have played if the game were yesterday, but remains optimistic the spasms will subside. "We're doing everything in our power to get me ready," he said.

Cornerback Corey Fuller has practiced the past two days but remains questionable with a groin and hamstring injury. Dime (sixth) defensive back Chad Williams (back, questionable) practiced and should be available.

The Ravens moved practice to M&T Bank Stadium yesterday for the second straight day.

Let down for O. Brown

Right tackle Orlando Brown took the end of Jamal Lewis' streak of six straight 100-yard games harder than Lewis.

Lewis was held to 68 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Lewis said he was glad to see backup Chester Taylor rush for 33 yards and a touchdown.

"I take it personal because I want to get my man 100 yards or more every game," Brown said. "We won the game, but it was a disappointment for me as a lineman. As a unit, we didn't give him 100 yards, so we feel bad."

Stover stays the same

Matt Stover made all three of his attempts in domes last year, but the veteran kicker will not enter tomorrow's game overconfident.

Stover said he will likely remain within his 53-yard distance, his limit without having to extend himself.

"I've learned over my career that you can't ever think it's easy to kick indoors," said Stover, who has made 17 of 19 field goals this year. "Because when you do that, you take a different mental approach. I definitely say to myself don't think this kick is any easier than if you had a 20 mile-per-hour crosswind."

Faulk ready to go

The Rams expect to have the real Marshall Faulk for the first time this season.

Faulk has played in three games this year but has looked nothing like the player who rushed for more than 1,300 yards in four of the previous five seasons.

Faulk rushed for a season-high 57 yards in Week 2 against the 49ers and has missed the past five games with knee and hand injuries.

"We haven't had him really as Marshall," Martz said. "He was injured without us really knowing at the beginning of the year. He did not look the same. He's practiced the last two weeks, and this happens to be the week we feel he is fully recovered."

Next for Ravens

Matchup:Ravens (5-3) vs. St. Louis Rams (5-3)

Site:Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis

When:Tomorrow, 8:30 p.m.

TV/Radio:Ch. 24, ESPN/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line:Rams by 7

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