Ravens Vs. Redskins

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Fedex Field, Landover, 8:30 P.m., Chs. 13, 7, Espn

October 10, 2004|By Jamison Hensley

SCOUTING REPORT

Ravens run offense vs. Redskins run defense: All-Pro running back Jamal Lewis has been held under 100 yards three times in the first four games after being held under that mark only four times all of last season. But he could want to make a statement in his last game before his two-game suspension. Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, who leads Washington with 40 tackles, represents the core of the NFL's top-ranked run defense. The Redskins have held every running back under 82 yards rushing and have given up a stingy 2.5 yards per carry. But Washington has yet to face a back the caliber of Lewis.

EDGE: EVEN

Ravens pass offense vs. Redskins pass defense: The loss of tight end Todd Heap (ankle) has shut down the Ravens' ability to stretch defenses. Kyle Boller's quarterback rating has climbed each week, but he has yet to crack 200 yards passing in a game. Has any receiver other than Randy Hymes shown up the past three weeks? The Redskins take chances under new coordinator Gregg Williams' aggressive scheme, and cornerback Fred Smoot can be beaten deep because he tends to gamble. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 62 percent of their passes, throwing for four touchdowns and one interception.

EDGE: REDSKINS

Redskins run offense vs. Ravens run defense: Since 1999, the Ravens have allowed five 100-yard rushers when linebacker Ray Lewis is in the lineup. But one came on Monday night, when Kansas City's Priest Holmes gained 125. The Redskins, though, don't have the same big, physical line as the Chiefs. The Redskins' biggest offseason acquisition, running back Clinton Portis, has been a nonfactor in the first quarter of the season. Portis' first carry for his new team went 64 yards for a touchdown, but he is averaging just 3.4 yards per run since. He rarely fumbled in Denver but already has lost three with the Redskins.

EDGE: RAVENS

Redskins pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense: The Ravens believed they had an elite secondary, but it has looked far from it. They have allowed 12 completions of more than 20 yards and have fallen to 20th in stopping teams on third downs. Communication breakdowns for a secondary that has been together for three years have led to big plays. Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell has struggled for most of the season, connecting on 55.6 percent of his throws and averaging 6.2 yards per attempt. Receivers Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner have combined for 44 catches.

EDGE: EVEN

Special teams: The Ravens' punt and kickoff coverage teams rank in the top 10, while the Redskins' units sit in the bottom half of the league. B.J. Sams leads the NFL with a 13.1-yard return average on punts after running one back 58 yards for a touchdown on Monday. Comparatively, Chad Morton has averaged 6.9 yards on his punt returns. Washington kicker John Hall is 0-for-2 outside of 40 yards, and punter Tom Tupa leads the NFC with a 46.5-yard average.

EDGE: RAVENS

Intangibles: The Ravens have won just two of their past seven road games. Joe Gibbs hasn't lost four straight since the start of the 1981 season, his first as Redskins coach. At 1-3, Washington is the more desperate team. On Monday, the Ravens failed to match the physical intensity of then-winless Kansas City.

EDGE: REDSKINS

Prediction: In the national spotlight Monday, the Ravens' defense flopped. This time, the offense won't hold up its end of the bargain.

REDSKINS, 13-9

GAME FACTS

Matchup

Records: Ravens 2-2, Redskins 1-3.

Line: Pick 'em.

Vs. spread: Ravens 2-2, Redskins 1-3.

Series: Tied 1-1.

Last meeting: Redskins won, 10-3, on Oct. 15, 2000, at Landover.

NFL rankings

Ravens offense: 25th (rush 4th, pass 32nd)

Ravens defense: 21st (rush 18th, pass 20th)

Redskins offense: 17th (rush 20th, pass 16th)

Redskins defense: 4th (rush 1st, pass 12th)

Ravens injuries

Out: C Mike Flynn (shoulder); TE Todd Heap (ankle).

Questionable: RB Ovie Mughelli (hamstring); CB Deion Sanders (hamstring); LB T.J. Slaughter (hamstring); WR Travis Taylor (thigh).

Probable: CB Gary Baxter (shoulder); DT Aubrayo Franklin (hamstring); TE Terry Jones (shoulder); DT Maake Kemoeatu (ribs); LB Bart Scott (hamstring); LB Terrell Suggs (groin); RB Chester Taylor (ankle).

Redskins injuries

Out: LB LaVar Arrington (knee); LB Mike Barrow (knee); DE Phillip Daniels (groin); S Andre Lott (hamstring).

Probable: G Ray Brown (hamstring); RB Chad Morton (knee); CB Shawn Springs (ankle); DE Ron Warner (ankle).

INSIDE SLANT

George Kokinis, the Ravens' pro personnel director, sizes up the Redskins:

Strength of offense

Receivers Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner. Their styles complement each other. Coles has big speed and the ability to run after the catch. Gardner is the physical receiver who can catch in traffic.

Strength of defense

Coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme. Their pressure defense with run and pass blitzes puts their players in position to make plays. As the Redskins become more accustomed to that, they're becoming pretty productive.

Key matchup

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