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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-25

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-25

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-25
With Ray Rice still questionable with a bruised calf, Willis McGahee will remain the Ravens' No. 2 running back. Le'Ron McClain has a hold on the starting job after leading the Ravens in rushing the past five games.

If either starting cornerback can't go -- Fabian Washington (toe) or Samari Rolle (ankle) -- Frank Walker would replace them. Corey Ivy remains the nickel back.


--TE Todd Heap has scored three touchdowns in five meetings with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has 14 catches for 189 yards.

--WR Derrick Mason has 37 receptions for 458 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games against the Jaguars.

--DE Trevor Pryce has five sacks in three games against Jacksonville. He also had 14 tackles.

--CB Samari Rolle has eight interceptions in 12 career games against the Jaguars. The picks are the most by any player against Jacksonville.

--K Matt Stover has connected on 88.2 percent of his field goals (30 of 34) against the Jaguars. He has hit all 22 field goals from inside 40 yards.

GAME PLAN: While the Ravens' strength is running the ball, they should take advantage of Jacksonville's pass defense. The Jaguars have given up 25 touchdowns through the air, the third-most in the NFL. But rookie quarterback Joe Flacco hasn't thrown for multiple touchdowns in his past three games.

Defensively, the Ravens are going to focus on running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the leading rusher and receiver for the Jaguars. The Ravens' speed at linebacker should help them tackle Jones-Drew in space.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens pass defense vs. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. The Ravens gave up 90 yards last Saturday to Dallas' Tashard Choice, the second-highest rushing total allowed by the Ravens this season. But don't expect Jones-Drew to come close to that range. The Ravens are even tougher to run against in Baltimore The last back to do so was Houston's Domanick Davis in 2005, but that comes with an asterisk. Tommy Polley was filling in for Ray Lewis at inside linebacker that game. With Lewis manning the middle, the Ravens have gone 30 straight home games without surrendering 100 yards to a running back. The list of backs who have failed include: LaDainian Tomlinson, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber, Edgerrin James, Brian Westbrook, Willie Parker and Jamal Lewis.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Jaguars pass defense. Mason remains the Ravens' top target, but don't expect him to put up impressive numbers. He re-injured his left shoulder and is hurting more than previous weeks. There is also a chance that Mason won't play. If the Patriots lose earlier Sunday, the Ravens would clinch a playoff spot before playing Jacksonville and likely would rest Mason. Also, Mason's production drops off at home. He has averaged 35.7 yards receiving at M&T Bank Stadium, scoring one touchdown.

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

--LB Antwan Barnes (chest) has been declared out. He likely will be placed on injured reserve if the Ravens reach the playoffs.

--FS Ed Reed (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Considered precautionary, he didn't practice last week and started. Expected to start.

--LB Jarret Johnson (calf) did not practice Wednesday. He is expected to start.

--CB Fabian Washington (toe) did not practice Wednesday. He is expected to start.

--OT Willie Anderson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday but will start at right tackle.

--DE Trevor Pryce (illness) did not practice Wednesday but will start.

--CB Samari Rolle (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. He said that he would start.

--WR Derrick Mason (left shoulder) did not 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.

--OT Adam Terry (knee) did not practice Wednesday but he is expected to play.

--RB Ray Rice (bruised calf) was limited in practice Wednesday and is considered very questionable.

--KR Yamon Figurs (head) was limited in practice Wednesday. He is considered a game-time decision.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 25, 2008

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Haloti Ngata Name: Haloti Ngata
Position: DT
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Oregon
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