Odds are Ravens feeling slighted



October 04, 2006|By Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee | Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee,Sun Reporters

The Ravens are playing the respect card once again, but this time, they may have an argument.

Just days after beating the favored San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, the undefeated Ravens are underdogs again heading into Monday's night's contest with the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos (2-1) are favored by 3 1/2 points.

After Sunday's 16-13 comeback victory, several Ravens admitted that they were motivated by the oddsmakers' decision to make the host Ravens underdogs against San Diego.

"All the experts said we were the worst 3-0 team in the NFL because the teams we beat had no wins," wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "Now, we beat the team that was being called the best 2-0 team. So maybe we will get some respect now. "

Denver has defeated 3-1 New England and 1-2 Kansas City after dropping the season opener to 3-1 St. Louis.

Shared spotlight?

The Ravens' first prime-time contest of the season won't be affected by the possible move of an NFC North matchup between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings to the same night.

The Lions-Vikings game Sunday at 1 p.m. could be moved to Monday at 8:30 p.m. if the American League Division Series between Oakland and Minnesota is extended to a fifth game, which would be played Sunday at the Metrodome.

But NFL spokesman Dan Masonson said the Ravens' game against Denver would still be the national game broadcast by ESPN, while the Lions-Vikings matchup would be shown to their respective markets.

Boller backer

Coach Brian Billick has heard the speculation that the Ravens would not be 4-0 if Kyle Boller had been the team's quarterback. He defended his former starter Monday by bringing up Boller's comeback against the New York Jets in 2004.

When asked if the Ravens would have won Sunday without Steve McNair, Billick said: "I'd like to think so. But I have no way of quantifying that."

Bolstering the line

With Edwin Mulitalo being moved to injured reserve after successful surgery to repair his torn triceps, the Ravens signed Ikechuku Ndukwe off the Washington Redskins' practice squad. Ndukwe is a 6-foot-4, 338-pound guard in his second year out of Northwestern.



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