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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-14


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-14


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-14
When the Ravens (6-3) play at the New York Giants (8-1), there will be pride on the line for both teams.


The Ravens boast the No. 1 run defense in the NFL, holding teams to an average of 65.4 yards on the ground. The Giants have the No. 1 run offense in the league, hammering teams for 168.9 yards rushing per game.

This highly touted matchup could come down to which team is able to impose their will.

"You've got to believe what you're saying, and we believe we can stop anybody," Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said, "and they believe they can run on anybody. So we'll see how it goes."

While there are other matchups on the field that could factor into Sunday's outcome, it's very rare for two opposing units to be the best in one particular category.

The Giants rank first in the NFL in rush yards per game (168.9), yards per carry (5.2) and runs of at least 20 yards (15). Twelve of New York's 28 touchdowns this season have been produced by the running attack.

The Giants have compiled 200 or more rushing yards in four games, including 200 against the Dallas Cowboys and 219 against the Philadelphia Eagles in back-to-back weekends.

Using a three-back rotation of Brandon Jacobs (the league's fourth-leading rusher with 806 yards and nine touchdowns), Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, New York has gained 100 yards on the ground in eight of nine games.

Offenses have struggled to be efficient against the Ravens, who rank first in average yards (65.4) and yards per carry (2.9) and are tied for first in rushing touchdowns surrendered (one) and runs of at least 20 yards (one).

The defense has registered 28 consecutive games of not allowing a 100-yard rusher and has permitted just 18 100-yard rushers since 1999, which is the fewest in the league. The Indianapolis Colts (on Oct. 13) gained the most rushing yards against the Ravens and that was only for 76 yards.

"It comes from the fact that we can do it," defensive end Trevor Pryce said. "It comes from the fact that you watch how we play the run, and that's the thing our coaches harp on. (They say) 'If you guys want to play fun football, you've got to do the dirty work first and that's stopping the run. Then you guys can get after the quarterback, (get) interceptions and all those types of things if you stop the run.' And we've been good at that around here for a long time."

Even though this is a high-profile matchup, Lewis said the Ravens defense can't be overly concerned with what the Giants do.

"The only test is we like to stop the run and that's the bottom line," he said. "We're the best defense in football doing that. So if there's a test, the test is just going and upholding what you're already built to do."

SERIES HISTORY: 3rd regular-season meeting. Ravens lead series, 2-0. The Ravens beat the Giants in their last meeting (2004), 37-14, tormenting Eli Manning into half of his team's six turnovers, which tied a Ravens record and paved the way for 20 points.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 14, 2008

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