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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-16

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-16

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-16

--LB Jarret Johnson injured a calf. His status for Saturday is uncertain.

--CB Fabian Washington is expected to play Saturday, according to coach John Harbaugh. Washington missed the fourth quarter Sunday with a hamstring injury. Frank Walker would start if Washington can't play.

--K Matt Stover has made nine consecutive field goals after missing five of his first 17 attempts.

--SS Jim Leonhard is expected to remain the team's primary punt returner. He has averaged 11.9 yards on 16 returns this season, including a 46-yard return Sunday.

--LB Terrell Suggs has 2 1/2 sacks in his past three games. He leads the Ravens with 7 1/2 this season.


PASSING OFFENSE: F -- Joe Flacco struggled mightily, completing 11 of 28 passes for 115 yards and two interceptions. The rookie quarterback set season lows in passing yards (115), completion rate (39 percent) and passer rating (22.2). For the second consecutive week, Flacco could have made some throws into the flats for yards but tried to force the ball downfield.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-plus -- Le'Ron McClain picked up some tough yards, finishing with 82 yards on 23 carries. But McClain didn't wear down the Steelers as he's done with other teams in the past. His longest run was only 10 yards. He never got into any continuity with the offense. The Ravens definitely missed rookie Ray Rice as the third-down back because Willis McGahee dropped a couple of passes and struggled in pass protection.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Until the game-winning drive, the secondary had its way with the Steelers receivers. But that changed in the fourth quarter, when CB Fabian Washington left with a hamstring injury. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger then took apart the Baltimore defensive backs, completing simple out patterns. Terrell Suggs supplied the only consistent pass rush.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Ravens dominated up front with DTs Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan. The Steelers couldn't open up holes, which limited Willie Parker to 47 yards on 14 carries (3.4-yard average). The Ravens didn't allow a run longer than 10 yards. They still haven't given up a touchdown on the ground at home this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- The Ravens put together one of their best days on special teams to surprisingly outplay the Steelers in this part of the game. Both Yamon Figurs (kickoffs) and Jim Leonhard (punts) had long returns, and Matt Stover connected on three field goals. Sam Koch placed four of seven punts inside the 20-yard line.

COACHING: D -- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had an off day in play-calling, keeping it too conservative against the NFL's top-ranked defense. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan made the mistake of going to a prevent defense in the end, which led to the Steelers marching 92 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 16, 2008

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Todd Heap Name: Todd Heap
Position: TE
Age: 28
Experience: 8 years
College: Arizona State
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