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NFL 2008 Week 14 | Washington Redskins vs Baltimore Ravens | NFL 2008 Week 14 Analysis & Preview

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  NFL 2008 Week 14:
  Beltway Battle Between Redskins & Ravens

       NFL 2008 Weekend 14: Washington Redskins (7-5) at Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

 

Redskins QB Jason Campbell & Head Coach Jim Zorn discussing matters on the sidelines
Redskins QB Jason Campbell & Head Coach Jim Zorn

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The Redskins look to bounce back from a 23-7 loss last week to the Giants, while Baltimore seeks its third straight win and seventh in eight games.

The game figures to be a matchup of strength versus strength as the Redskins and Ravens boast two of the NFLs top-six-ranked defenses, while each relies heavily on superb rushing attacks.

After playing 6 of their last 8 games on the road, the Baltimore Ravens host the Washington Redskins. This is the first ever regular season matchup between the Redskins and Ravens in Baltimore.

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The Ravens (8-4) have won two consecutive games and 6 of their last 7 after trouncing the Bengals 34-3 last week in Cincinnati.

Wide receiver Mark Clayton caught a 70-yard TD pass from rookie QB Joe Flacco and threw a 32-yard TD to fellow WR Derrick Mason in the win. Baltimore's defense held their 2nd consecutive opponent without a TD, limiting Cincinnati to 155 yards on offense.

The Redskins (7-5) lost 23-7 to the Giants at home and 2 and 3 over their last five games. The loss dropped the Redskins to third place in the NFC East as the Redskins also lost ground in the NFC Wildcard hunt.

Redskins vs. Ravens: A Game of Strengths

The game itself figures to be a matchup of strength versus strength as the Redskins and Ravens boast two of the NFL’s top-six-ranked defenses, while each relies heavily on superb rushing attacks.

Washington ranks fifth in the NFL averaging 139.4 yards per game on the ground, while Baltimore is third at 143.8 yards per game.

On the defense, the Ravens are second in overall defense, including third against the rush, while the Redskins are sixth in the league in overall defense, including seventh against the run. The two teams rank first and second in the NFL in forcing opposing offenses into three-and-out situations.

Redskins vs. Ravens: Playoff Prospects

With the NFC Playoff race tightening, the Redskins know they have little room for error in the season’s final quarter. Facing similar circumstances, Washington won its final four contests in both 2005 and 2007 to qualify for the playoffs.

With 4 games remaining in the regular season, the Ravens are one game behind the Steelers in the AFC North and are tied with the Colts (8-4) for the two AFC Wildcard spots one game ahead of both the Patriots (7-5) and Dolphins (7-5).

Washington Redskins (7-5) at Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

The "Battle of the Beltway" between the Redskins and Ravens pits two strong running, tough defense teams in the midst of the NFL playoff scramble against one another.

The Ravens are on a roll

The Baltimore Ravens are on a hot streak having won six of their past seven games with their only loss coming to the Giants on the road two weeks ago. The Ravens have scored 27 or more points in those 6 victories. Rookie QB JOE FLACCO has thrown 11 touchdowns against two interceptions and posted a 99.1 passer rating during this streak.

"We have four games left and we need to continue to do what we've been doing," says Flacco. "That starts with Washington."

Both teams are well equipped for the running game on both sides of the ball.

And on a cold night in December, figure the running game will play a large part in both team's game strategy.

The Redskins rely on the NFL's No. 2 rusher, CLINTON PORTIS (1,228 yards).

Portis goes up against a Ravens defense that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in a league-best 31 games. The Ravens, with the NFLs third-ranked rushing game (against the league's No. 7 rush defense), utlized a backfield tandem last week of LE' RON MC CLAIN and rookie RAY RICE to carry the load for the injured WILLIS MC GAHEE.

The Battle of the Beltway Series

The Redskins and Ravens have met three times in the regular season, with all three of the previous matchups taking place at FedExField.

This is the fourth regular season meeting between the Ravens and Redskins and the first to be played in Baltimore. The Ravens have a 2-1 advantage over the Redskins, including a win in their last meeting in 2004 on October 10 when the Ravens beat the Redskins in Washington 17 - 10. In that game, the Ravens defense allowed 107 total net yards & scored 2 non-offensive TDs. Safety Ed Reed recovered a fumble which he returned 22 yards for a TD and B.J. Sams who returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown.

NFL 2008 Week 13: Baltimore Ravens 34 Cincinnati Bengals 3

WR Mark Clayton threw a TD pass and caught another in the Ravens 34-3 victory at Cincinnati last Sunday. Clayton, who caught 5 passes for a career-high 164 yards, threw a 32-yard TD to WR Derrick Mason and caught a 70-yard pass from QB Joe Flacco. WR Derrick Mason caught 6 for 91 yards, while FB Le'Ron McClain rushed 25 times for 86 more.

On offense, the Ravens compiled a season-high 451 total yards. Flacco, who also threw a TD pass to TE Todd Heap (4 yards), completed 19 of 29 for 280 yards. QB Joe Flacco's 280 passing yards Sunday stand as a career high. The rookie QB finished the game 19 of 29 (65.5%) with 2 TDs, 0 INTs and a QB rating of 119.9.

For the 2nd straight game, the Ravens defense did not allow a TD, holding the Bengals to 155 yards on offense. S Jim Leonhard highlighted the defensive performance with a 35-yard interception which he returned for a TD.

The Ravens offense controlled the ball for 38:58 compared to 21:02 for the Bengals.

Baltimore swept the Bengals this season for the 1st time since 2002. With the win, the Ravens have now swept the Bengals five times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002). The sweep marked Baltimore’s 2nd of the season, with the Ravens also winning twice against the Browns.

NFL 2008 Week 13: New York Giants 23 Washington Redskins 7

Last week the Redskins lost to the Giants at FedEx Field in Washington by a score of 23 to 7.

The Redskins defensive plan to stop the Giants highly rated running attack back-fired as Giants QB Eli Manning passed for 305 yards. Manning's performance included a 40-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer on the Giants first offensive series.

Defensively, the Giants held Clinton Portis, the NFLs leading rusher, to 22 yards on 11 carries.

With the loss, the Redskins fell to 7-5 and slipped into 3rd place in the NFC East. The Redskins lone touchdown came on a second quarter 29-yard reverse by rookie receiver Devin Thomas.

Last week's loss coupled with the 16 - 7 NFL 2008 Kickoff Weekend loss is the second time in 3 years that the Redskins have been swept by the Giants. The Redskins have now lost five of their last six games against the Giants.

The Giants led, 13-7, at halftime in which they rushed for only 27 yards but Manning threw for 239, the highest first-half total of his career.

Washington closed to within 13-7 on rookie receiver Thomas' first career touchdown on a 29-yard reverse with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter. On first down, Jason Campbell handed the ball to Ladell Betts, who gave it to Thomas running from left to right. Because almost everyone on the Giants' defense was moving right, Thomas had a clear path in front of him and was not touched until he was diving over the goal line.

Washington Redskins (7-5)

  • QB JASON CAMPBELL leads the NFL with 1.06 INT pct. (4 INTs, 378 attempts). When Campbell has a 100.0+ rating, the Redskins are 5-1 (.833)

  • RB CLINTON PORTIS leads NFL with 1,415 scrimmage yards (1,228 rush, 187 rec.). Portis has rushed for 472 yards (118.0 per game) & 3 TDs in past 4 games vs. AFC opponents. When Portis rushes for 100 or more yards, his teams are 33-10 (.767)

  • WR SANTANA MOSS had 3 catches for 75 yards (25.0 avg.) in last meeting. WR ANTWAAN RANDLE EL has 27 career TDs (15 rec., 6 PR, 5 pass., 1 KR), incl. playoffs. Rookie WR DEVIN THOMAS scored 1st career TD last week (29-yard run). TE CHRIS COOLEY had TD in last meeting. Has 28 TDs since 2004, most among NFC TEs

  • LB-DE JASON TAYLOR is active leader with 118.0 sacks. Has 6.0 sacks in 5 games vs. the Baltimore Ravens, incl. 2.0 sacks in last meeting (12/16/07 with the Dolphins). CB SHAWN SPRINGS had sack & INT in last game vs. the Baltimore Ravens CB FRED SMOOT had INT in 10/10/04 meeting

Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

  • The Ravens are on a roll winning 6 of their past 7 games only losing to the Giants in that span

  • The Ravens are 4-1 (.800) at home this NFL 2008 season

  • In his past 7 games, rookie QB JOE FLACCO (1st round, No. 18) has completed 112 of 187 passes (59.9 pct.) for 1,432 yards with 11 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 99.1 passer rating. Flacco aims for his 8th consecutive game with a TD pass.

  • RB LE' RON MC CLAIN leads the Ravens with 7 total TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.). McClain is averaging 87 rush yards per game in past 2 (174 total)

  • Since 2003, WR DERRICK MASON ranks 2nd in the NFL with 510 receptions behind TORRY HOLT (544).

  • WR MARK CLAYTON had career-high 164 receiving yards (32.8 avg.) on 5 receptions last week

  • Since 2003, the Ravens are 34 and 10 (.773) when defense posts 3 or more sacks

  • The Ravens have 5 interceptions over their past 2 games and lead the NFL with 20 INTs

  • Since 2002, S ED REED leads the NFL with 37 INTs

  • The Ravens have not allowed a running back to gain over 100 rushing yards over their past 31 games.

  • LB JARRET JOHNSON has 3 sacks in past 3 gamnes and seeks for 4th consecutive game with at least half sack

  • S JIM LEONHARD garnered his 1st interception of the 2008 season last week.

Joe Flacco Fan Club

LENNY MOORE was the starting halfback for the Baltimore Colts in the "Greatest Game Ever Played," the 1958 NFL Championship Game on December 28, 1958.

The NFL is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the historic game this month, but the 75-year-old Moore, who lives in Randallstown, Maryland, is up-to-the-minute on the modern-day NFL – particularly his Baltimore Ravens, who face Washington this Sunday night in a big game on NBC (8:15 PM ET).

Lenny is a big fan of Ravens rookie quarterback JOE FLACCO, who has already taken Baltimore (8-4) to three more wins than it had in 2007. "Joe is very cool in the pocket, which is quite unusual for a first-year player," says Moore, a 1975 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "He's nice and tall (6-6). He can see over everybody and spot his receivers. I was concerned after (left tackle) JONATHAN OGDEN retired this year, but the Ravens' offensive line has come along real well. All the credit for Baltimore's success this year goes to (rookie head coach) JOHN HARBAUGH."

PREDICTION: Baltimore Ravens 31 Washington Reskins 10

Below average football simply will not cut it for the Redskins against an above average Ravens team.

The Redskins have been playing below average football over their past five games and in the process have gone 2 - 3.

The two wins came against the winless Lions (Week 8: 25-17) and the dismal Seahawks (Week 12: 20 - 17), while the Redskins wound up losing three home games to the Steelers (Week 9: 23-6), Cowboys (Week 11: 14-10) and Giants (Week 13: 23-7). Meanwhile, the Ravens have mounted impressive wins, 6 out of 7 games, losing only to the Giants.

Although, both teams need the win for their playoff drive, the Redskins find themselves in an almost-must-win situation.

The key to this game will be ball control

That said, the Redskins won't be able to muster much on offense and expect the Ravens to hold Clinton Portis and the Redskins in check. As a result, the Redskins defense will tire early in the second half as Flacco and the Ravens start pulling away towards a 31 - 10 victory over the Redskins.

RELATED NFL 2008 Week 14

NFL 2008 Week 14: Playoff Races & Playoff Scenarios

Steelers Set to Shut Down Cowboys & Romo at Home

Tony Romo has led the Cowboys to three consecutive wins in spite of a broken pinkie. However, this week is a different story as the Cowboys pay a visit to the "Blitzburgh" Steelers and the NFLs best defense.

Despite the pinkie injury, Tony Romo comes off a 331-yard three touchdown Thanksgiving Day game performance in which he led the Dallas Cowboys to touchdowns in their first three possessions and points in its first four that ended in a 34-9 win over the Seattle Seahawks. But this is a Steelers team with QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER who is 14-4 lifetime against the NFC at the helm of a consistent offense and a defense that blitzes and distracts opponents into total confusion and ultimate submission.

Eagles Visit NFC East Division Leading Rival Giants in Midst of Burress Saga

Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook are back, but the Giants continue to roll. Off their Thanksgiving performances in the Eagles win 48-20 over the Cardinals, Eagles QB DONOVAN MC NABB (four TD passes) and RB BRIAN WESTBROOK (110 yards rushing, two TDs rushing, two receiving) look like they are ready to help the Philadelphia Eagles make a Wild Card run.

However, the Giants will be one tough test as the Giants have not lost an NFC East Division game since last December and are 6-0 this year at Giants Stadium, their longest home winning streak since seven in a row in 1990.

Bucs & Panthers to Break NFC South Deadlock on MNF

Finally a Monday Night Football game with serious meaning and some serious implications as these two division rivals square off tied for first in the NFC South.

The Panthers aren't excited to be facing Bucs QB JEFF GARCIA. Garcia, a tough & resourceful NFL veteran, has beaten the Carolina the last five times he has faced them. Of course, Panthers QB JAKE DELHOMME has been his effective self this year, particularly at home. Delhomme has led Carolina to an undefeated 6-0 home record with the Panthers outscoring their opponents 166-78.

 

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NFL 2008 WEEK 14 SCHEDULE

(All times local)

Thursday, December 4
Oakland at San Diego, 5:00 PM (NFLN)

Sunday, December 7
Miami at Buffalo (Toronto), 4:05 PM
Kansas City at Denver, 2:05 PM
N.Y. Jets at San Francisco, 1:05 PM
Jacksonville at Chicago, 12:00 PM
New England at Seattle, 1:05 PM
Minnesota at Detroit, 1:00 PM
St. Louis at Arizona, 2:15 PM
Houston at Green Bay, 12:00 PM
Dallas at Pittsburgh, 4:15 PM
Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Atlanta at New Orleans, 12:00 PM
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants, 1:00 PM
Cleveland at Tennessee, 12:00 PM
Washington at Baltimore, 8:15 PM (NBC)

Monday, December 8
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 8:30 PM (ESPN)

NFL 2008 WEEK 13 RESULTS – NOVEMBER 27, 30- DECEMBER 1

(Home team in CAPS)

Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 27, 2008)
Tennessee Titans 47 DETROIT LIONS 10
DALLAS COWBOYS 34 Seattle Seahawks 9
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 48 Arizona Cardinals 20

Sunday, November 30
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 23 New Orleans Saints 20
N.Y. Giants 23 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 7
Atlanta Falcons 22 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 16
Pittsburgh Steelers 33 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 10
Denver Broncos 34 N.Y. JETS 17
San Francisco 49ers 10 BUFFALO BILLS 3
Kansas City Chiefs 20 OAKLAND RAIDERS 13
Baltimore Ravens 34 CINCINNATI BENGALS 3
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 34 Chicago Bears 14
Indianapolis Colts 10 CLEVELAND BROWNS 6
Carolina Panthers 35 GREEN BAY PACKERS 31
Miami Dolphins 16 SAINT LOUIS RAMS 12

Monday, December 1
HOUSTON TEXANS 30 Jacksonville Jaguars 17

 

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NFL 2008 Week 14 - NFL 2008 Weekend 14
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