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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-28

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-28

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-28
It's uncertain what the Ravens' offensive line will look like Sunday. Starting left tackle Jared Gaither has a sprained right shoulder. Starting right tackle Willie Anderson has ankle and foot injuries. And top backup Adam Terry has a concussion.

The Ravens are hoping to give Gaither a week off. That would mean Terry would play left tackle and Anderson would start at right.


--QB Joe Flacco was 15-for-29 for 129 yards and no interceptions in his first career start against Cincinnati.

--LB Ray Lewis has 200 tackles, five interceptions, 4 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles in 20 career games against Cincinnati.

--WR Derrick Mason has 40 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games at Cincinnati.

--K Matt Stover is 64-for-73 (87.7 percent) on field goals in 35 games against Cincinnati. He has three game-winners to beat the Bengals.

--S Ed Reed has 49 tackles and five interceptions in 11 games against Cincinnati.

GAME PLAN: The priority for the Ravens is to establish the run game against the Bengals and wear them out. They want to control the clock and get into manageable third-down situations for Joe Flacco. Defensively, the focus is to get pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Ravens feel he will rush throws and turn the ball over if he gets hit early.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens run defense vs. Bengals RB Cedric Benson. Since becoming Cincinnati's primary ball-carrier, Benson has averaged 56.6 yards rushing in five games. He gained a season-best 104 yards three games ago against Jacksonville. But Benson should struggle against the NFL's fourth-best run defense. The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 30 straight games, the longest streak in the NFL. In their last 47 games, only two running backs have cracked 100 yards (Kansas City's Larry Johnson and Tennessee's Travis Henry). The Ravens haven't given up a rushing touchdown in nine of 11 games.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Bengals pass defense. This should be another productive game for Mason, the go-to receiver for quarterback Joe Flacco. He excels on the road, averaging 6.5 catches and 92.1 yards receiving. He has scored both of his touchdowns this season away from home. Plus, the Bengals have been giving up big yards to shifty receivers like Mason. Last game, Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes had five catches for 84 yards. Two games ago, Philadelphia's Kevin Curtis had seven catches for 64 yards. Cincinnati has allowed six passing touchdowns in five home games.

INJURY IMPACT: WR Terrance Copper (shoulder) did not practice. He is out for a second straight game.

--OT Jared Gaither had a setback Thursday with his sprained right shoulder. He missed practice after being limited Wednesday. He likely will be a game-time decision.

--OT Willie Anderson is expected to start at right tackle despite being limited for a second day of practice Thursday with an ankle injury.

--TE Todd Heap returned for a full practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's practice with an illness. He is expected to start.

--WR Mark Clayton was added to the injury report Thursday with a back injury. He is still expected to start Sunday.

--WR Terrance Copper returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a neck injury. He is questionable for Sunday's game.

--RB Le'Ron McClain (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday. He has been banged up all season and has played through pain. He will start at fullback.

--FB Lorenzo Neal (thigh) was limited in practice. He is expected to play.

--DE Trevor Pryce (concussion) was limited in practice. Said coach John Harbaugh: "I'm not exactly sure where he's at. He seems like he's OK."

--OT Adam Terry (concussion) was limited in practice. He seems like a game-time decision.

--DT Lamar Divens (shoulder) had a full practice. It looks like a week off has improved his status. He should play.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 28, 2008

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Prescott Burgess Name: Prescott Burgess
Position: LB
Age: 24
Experience: 2 years
College: Michigan
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