Scouting Report

RAVENS vs. JETS

October 02, 2005|By JAMISON HENSLEY | JAMISON HENSLEY,SUN REPORTER

Today, 4:05 p.m.--M&T Bank Stadium-- Chs. 13, 9--Line: Ravens by 7-- Records: Ravens 0-2, Jets 1-2

Ravens run offense vs. Jets run defense

If the Ravens lose fullback Alan Ricard - he's questionable with a calf injury - it would be a significant blow to a running attack facing Jets middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma. The Ravens talked during the bye about how they were going to run Jamal Lewis behind Ricard, who had been inactive the first two games. The Jets have been soft against the run, giving up a total of 337 yards rushing to Kansas City and Jacksonville. But the Ravens average 45.5 yards rushing a game, which is worst in the NFL. The biggest trouble has been running up the middle, where the Ravens' guards have struggled. Jets interior linemen Dewayne Robertson and James Reed will present problems.

EDGE: Jets

Ravens pass offense vs. Jets pass defense

The Ravens might start receiver Mark Clayton, the team's first-round pick, in place of struggling Clarence Moore. Clayton and Derrick Mason are bigger threats to make yards after the catch on shorter throws. The Ravens might need to go to quick-hitting routes to save quarterback Anthony Wright. New York ends John Abraham and Shaun Ellis will be crashing off the edge, which is a concern considering the Ravens' faulty pass protection. Wright, who has thrown two interceptions for touchdowns, has to be more careful with his passes. Jets cornerbacks Ty Law and David Barrett already have picked off one pass each this season.

EDGE: Jets

Jets run offense vs. Ravens run defense

The one positive in the Ravens' wretched start has been their run defense. The Ravens held Indianapolis and Tennessee to 3.3 yards a carry, which is sixth best in the league. Nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu has been solid in the middle but needs a strong game against six-time Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae. The Jets schemed extremely well against the Ravens last year, gaining 156 yards rushing because they got a blocker on linebacker Ray Lewis. But New York running back Curtis Martin has struggled a year after leading the NFL in rushing. Only three of his 69 rushes have gone for more than 10 yards.

EDGE: Ravens

Jets pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense

Having thrown only nine passes in the NFL, third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger makes his first start after Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler both went down with shoulder injuries. Bollinger can move around in the pocket and makes quick decisions. His weakness is having little zip on deep passes. That's why New York will stick to short to intermediate routes. Injured Jets tackle Jason Fabini, who has given up three sacks in three games at left tackle, could be moved to the right side. The Ravens are due for interceptions after never going consecutive games without one last season. Has anyone seen safety Ed Reed on the field lately? The Ravens' Terrell Suggs has one sack in his past six games.

EDGE: Ravens

Special teams

If this game is dominated by the defenses, the Ravens will have trouble winning the field-position battle. Jets punter Ben Graham, a 31-year-old rookie from Australia, has a 46-yard average, the result of a booming leg. The unusual rotation of his punts has given returners trouble fielding them. The Ravens' Dave Zastudil has averaged 41.4 yards on his punts. Aaron Elling will provide more distance as the new kickoff specialist, but the Ravens will miss Matt Stover's tackling.

EDGE: Jets

Intangibles

The Ravens are the fresher and healthier team. While the Ravens had a bye last weekend, the Jets endured a grueling, 26-20 overtime loss to Jacksonville. The defeat cost New York its top two quarterbacks, shaking up an already tumultuous season. Dating back to last season, the Jets have lost four of their past five road games. The Ravens are 4-2 coming off byes under coach Brian Billick, winning the past three times.

EDGE: Ravens

Prediction

The Ravens defense will be the only group that resembles an offense on the field today. The Ravens' blitz-filled game plan will expose the Jets' vulnerability at quarterback. Just like the old days, the defense will provide enough big-play turnovers for the offense to convert into points.

Ravens, 13-3

Ravens offense

Lineups

WR 84 Clarence Moore

LT 75 Jonathan Ogden

LG 64 Edwin Mulitalo

C 62 Mike Flynn RG

68 Keydrick Vincent RT

77 Orlando Brown TE

86 Todd Heap WR

85 Derrick Mason QB

2 Anthony Wright FB

34 Ovie Mughelli RB

31 Jamal Lewis

Jets defense

LE 92 Shaun Ellis

DT 63 Dewayne Robertson

NT 93 James Reed

RE 56 John Abraham

OLB 54 Victor Hobson

MLB 51 Jonathan Vilma

OLB 53 Barry Gardner

CB 24 Ty Law

CB 36 David Barrett

SS 26 Erik Coleman

FS 25 Kerry Rhodes

Jets offense

WR 87 Laveranues Coles

LT 69 Jason Fabini

LG 66 Pete Kendall

C 68 Kevin Mawae

RG 65 Brandon Moore

RT 79 Adrian Jones

TE 86 Chris Baker

WR 81 Justin McCareins

QB 5 Brooks Bollinger

RB 28 Curtis Martin

FB 33 Jerald Sowell

Ravens defense

LE 98 Tony Weaver

LT 97 Kelly Gregg

RT 92 M. Kemoeatu

RE 55 Terrell Suggs

OLB 96 Adalius Thomas

MLB 52 Ray Lewis

OLB 50 Tommy Polley

CB 21 Chris McAlister

CB 22 Samari Rolle

SS 20 Ed Reed

FS 47 Will Demps

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