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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-04

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-04

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-04
It's unknown how the Ravens will handle their running back rotation.

Le'Ron McClain has led the Ravens in rushing the past two games, but coach John Harbaugh wouldn't commit to him as being the starter. Willis McGahee and Ray Rice have each started games this season.

Also, rookie Marcus Smith has replaced Yamon Figurs as the No. 3 receiver.


--RB Le'Ron McClain has scored four touchdowns in five home games. He has averaged 64.6 yards rushing at home.

--WR Mark Clayton has averaged 120 yards receiving and has scored two touchdowns in his past two games. He leads the team with a 17-yard average per catch.

--WR Derrick Mason has averaged 71 yards in his past three games. He has only scored one touchdown in that span.

--TE Todd Heap has not scored a touchdown in five home games. He has 11 catches at M&T Bank Stadium.

--LB Terrell Suggs needs one more sack to surpass Michael McCrary for second on the Ravens' all-time list. He is 19.5 sacks away from all-time leader Peter Boulware.

GAME PLAN: The Ravens always want to establish the run, but they will test the Redskins deep if Washington uses eight men in the box. Joe Flacco has been looking downfield more, which has produced several big plays. Defensively, the Ravens will focus on the Washington's run game, whether it's Clinton Portis or Ladell Betts. There is little concern that quarterback Jason Campbell will beat them.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens run defense vs. Redskins RB Clinton Portis. Portis is one of two backs averaging more than 100 yards a game this season (102.3 yards). But he likely won't come close to that total against the Ravens. It's even unknown whether Portis will play because of a neck injury. The Ravens have the NFL's third-ranked run defense, which plays even better at home. The opposition's top running back has averaged 40 yards against the Ravens in five games at M&T Bank Stadium. But that list hasn't included a top-flight running back like Portis. The Ravens haven't allowed a touchdown on the ground at home this season.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco vs. Redskins pass defense. Despite the Redskins' talent in the secondary, Flacco could have a solid game against Washington. In his past seven games, the rookie has produced a quarterback rating of 99.1 -- the best in the NFL over that span. Flacco has thrown 11 touchdowns and two interceptions during that span, while looking downfield more often. He has at least one touchdown pass of 30-plus yards in five of his past six games. But Washington has been strong against the pass. The Redskins have held quarterbacks to under 200 yards passing in three of their past four games, giving up five touchdowns and making six interceptions in that stretch.

INJURY IMPACT: OT Jared Gaither (right shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. He's played with this shoulder injury for the past couple of weeks. Expected to start.

--FS Ed Reed (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Considered precautionary -- although it did limit him in chasing down some receivers last Sunday. Expected to start.

--CB Samari Rolle (thigh) did not practice Wednesday. He has played through a shoulder injury for most of the season. This shouldn't be a problem. Expected to start.

--CB Fabian Washington (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. He has had this shoulder injury for a majority of the season and played with it. Expected to start.

--WR Derrick Mason (dislocated left shoulder) was limited in practice but is expected to start. He has played with this injury for the past three games. Expected to start.

--LB Bart Scott (shoulder) was limited in practice. He injured his shoulder Sunday but didn't miss any plays. Expected to start.

--G David Hale (ankle) was limited in practice. It's an injury that could sideline the backup lineman for a second straight game. He is considered questionable.

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

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Chris McAlister Name: Chris McAlister
Position: CB
Age: 31
Experience: 10 years
College: Arizona
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