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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-19

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-19

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-19
Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington said he would play despite a hamstring injury. That means Corey Ivy remains the nickel back, and Frank Walker is the dime.

It's questionable whether running back Ray Rice will play. He has a bruised calf. If he is out, Willis McGahee is the third-down back.


--RB Le'Ron McClain has only averaged 53 yards rushing in three games against NFC teams. He has scored three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving).

--WR Mark Clayton has averaged 46.7 yards receiving and has scored two touchdowns in seven road games this season.

--QB Joe Flacco has averaged 160.3 yards passing in three games against NFC teams. He has thrown four touchdowns and three interceptions.

--TE Todd Heap has scored all three of his touchdowns this season on the road. He has averaged 22.1 yards receiving.

--RB Willis McGahee has averaged only 2.1 yards per carry against NFC teams this season.

GAME PLAN: Even though the Cowboys are tied for seventh in run defense, the Ravens will try to establish the run with powerful tailback Le'Ron McClain. If they pass, it will be short drops and with maximum protection. The Ravens are wary of Dallas' pass rush.

Defensively, the Ravens are looking to capitalize on some mistakes by quarterback Tony Romo, who can be wild at times. The Ravens know cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Samari Rolle can run with the Cowboys receivers, but they know it will be a challenge to tackle Terrell Owens and Roy Williams.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens pass defense vs. Cowboys QB Tony Romo. The Ravens have been strong the past four games, a stretch where they have intercepted seven passes and have allowed two passing touchdowns. But Baltimore will be susceptible because cornerback Fabian Washington won't be at full strength because of hamstring injury. That isn't a good sign going against Romo, who excels at Texas Stadium. In six home games this season, he has thrown 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has averaged 284 yards passing at Texas Stadium. The Ravens pass defense hasn't been as dominant on the road recently. In the past two road games, the Ravens have made only two interceptions.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Cowboys pass defense. Mason hasn't put up great numbers recently, but that should change Saturday. He plays much better on the road than at home. In seven road games, Mason has averaged 92 yards receiving and has scored three touchdowns. Because of the Cowboys' pass rush, quarterback Joe Flacco should be looking to Mason even more. The Ravens will use maximum protection, which means tight end Todd Heap will be more of a blocker. That should mean balls thrown in Mason's direction.

INJURY IMPACT: WR Marcus Maxwell (hip) has been declared out. This backup receiver could be placed on injured reserve.

--OT Jared Gaither was limited in practice Thursday with an illness and expects to play.

--K Matt Stover was limited in practice all week but he should be fine. He kicked last week after being limited.

--OT Adam Terry was added to the injury report Thursday with a knee injury. He is expected to play.

--CB Fabian Washington returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday. This is a good sign that Washington will start Saturday.

--FS Ed Reed did not practice all week with a hamstring injury, but this is precautionary. He has had this routine for weeks and has played. He will start.

--OT Willie Anderson was limited in practice Wednesday but will start at right tackle.

--WR Derrick Mason (left shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday but will start. Mason has been limited the past month with this injury and has played. He hasn't missed a game since 2002.

--RB Ray Rice (bruised calf) was limited in practice Wednesday and is considered very questionable. Said Rice: "I can't give you a percentage but I want to be out there. The coaches will make the decision at the end of the week. We play a late game on Saturday so I still have time to recover." Willis McGahee would become the third-down back.

--CB Samari Rolle (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday. This is a new injury. He has been hampered by shoulder and hamstring injuries throughout the season. He is questionable.

--DE/LB Terrell Suggs (thigh) had a full practice and will start.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 19, 2008

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Dawan Landry Name: Dawan Landry
Position: S
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Georgia Tech
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