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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-04

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-04

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-04

--RB Willis McGahee will play Sunday after sitting out last Sunday with ankle and knee injuries. But there's no guarantee that he will retain his starting job. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that's yet to be determined.

--RB Ray Rice will still have a role in the offense despite the return of Willis McGahee (knee and ankle injuries) on Sunday at Houston. It's uncertain whether Rice or McGahee will start, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. But Rice "has expanded himself with the things he can do and the confidence he builds in the coaching staff."

--CB Samari Rolle will return after missing six games with a neck injury. Said coach John Harbaugh: "He's got 100 percent of his strength back. He's going to be in a little bit of a collar. I think when he gets that first shot, he's going to be re-assured that he's going to be fine. But until you get that first shot, you're not re-assured."

--CB Chris McAlister was ruled out for Sunday's game with a neck injury. McAlister is seeking a third opinion on his knee and might need surgery, which could end his season.

--TE Todd Heap didn't catch a pass in a game for the second time this season, but coach John Harbaugh has been impressed with Heap's run-blocking this year.


PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- After the Ravens trailed by 14 points, rookie QB Joe Flacco was 6-for-8 for 85 yards on the next four drives (which produced two touchdowns and a field goal). He threw his best deep pass of the season, a 47-yard pass to Mark Clayton in the first quarter. It was the biggest game of the season for the Ravens' receivers. Clayton and Derrick Mason combined for 13 catches for 223 yards and two touchdowns.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Filling in for a banged-up Willis McGahee (who suited up but did not play because of a bad ankle), rookie second-round pick Ray Rice gained 154 yards on 21 carries, a 7.3-yard average. His 60-yard run in the fourth quarter set up the go-ahead field goal. FB/TB Le'Ron McClain continues to be dominant in the red zone, scoring his fifth touchdown of the season.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- LB Terrell Suggs iced the game late in the fourth quarter by returning an interception 42 yards for a touchdown. After not scoring in his first 85 games, he now has touchdowns in two of his past three. Backup CBs Fabian Washington and Frank Walker were solid in replacing injured starters Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, but the Browns helped the Ravens by trying to pound the ball instead of going at their cornerbacks.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis, who had gained at least 79 yards in four straight games, was shut down by the Ravens. Lewis finished with 49 yards on 19 carries, a 2.6-yard average. His longest run was 7 yards. Ravens DTs Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan got a lot of penetration to cause the Browns' running game a lot of problems. ILB Bart Scott led the Ravens with 10 tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- This was the worst game for the Ravens' coverage teams, who allowed 278 return yards to Joshua Cribbs. There was suspect tackling all game, especially on Cribbs' 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Matt Stover converted all three field-goal chances, connecting from 41, 32 and 22 yards. Sam Koch only netted 31.5 yards on six punts.

COACHING: A -- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron identified the weaknesses of the Cleveland secondary and attacked. The Ravens had touchdown passes of 47 and 28 yards. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is doing wonders for a secondary that is missing three starters. The Ravens won back-to-back road games for the first time since December 2006, which shows that coach John Harbaugh keeps this team focused.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 4, 2008

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Adam Bergen Name: Adam Bergen
Position: TE
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Lehigh
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