Who has the edge?

The Ravens face their second consecutive division rival this weekend.

Ravens offense

Total (28) Rushing (18) Passing (24)

The Ravens are searching for an offensive identity. All indications point toward Baltimore taking advantage of a line that averages 329.5 pounds for a smash-mouth approach built around bruising back Jamal Lewis. Travis Taylor and Todd Heap are the targets the coaching staff wants Kyle Boller to locate downfield most often.


Kyle Boller has excellent mobility, but realized his mechanics took a step backward last week. That caused him to short-arm some deep throws.

Running backs

Jamal Lewis averages six yards a carry against the Browns with 543 career yards.


Travis Taylor was disruptive in drawing pass interference penalties last week. This offense needs Frank Sanders to act as a reliable safety valve.

Offensive line

Bulky unit is more adept at run blocking than pass protection, needs to avoid penalties.

Browns offense

Total (20t) Rushing (14t) Passing (21)

Cleveland was held to no touchdowns in a 9-6 loss last week to the Colts, the first time it had failed to score one since an Oct. 13 loss last year to the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. The Browns played soft in the red zone. William Green rushed for 86 yards last week, but only managed five yards on six carries inside the Colts' 10.


Journeyman Kelly Holcomb beat out Tim Couch in a victory of savvy over salary.

Running backs

William Green has learned how to read blocks and has cut out the Fred Astaire act.


Grades out well for depth and versatility as Dennis Northcutt and Andre' Davis would be starters elsewhere.

Offensive line

Scrappy group is undersized and not very nimble afoot.

Quarterback edge: Browns

Running back edge: Ravens

Receivers edge: Browns

Offensive line edge: Ravens

Ravens defense

Total (23) Rushing (15t) Passing (19)

Ravens want to take advantage of their superior athleticism at linebacker and create more of a pass rush. A combination of mental lapses committed by the secondary and the front seven getting blocked led to Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox's stat day. Baltimore remains stingy against the run, but has to get better on third downs. Pittsburgh converted 7-of-15 last week.

Defensive line

No sacks for this run-stuffing unit last week with too many stalemates


Ray Lewis and Co. appear primed for a revitalized performance.


Every starter needs to concentrate better and remain calm. Nickel package is healthier, which will be imperative today.

Browns defense

Total (9) Rushing (9) Passing (14)

Revamped outfit is geared toward speed and quickness, especially at linebacker. Kevin Bentley, Ben Taylor and Andra Davis represent upgrades in movement and enthusiasm over Darren Hambrick, Earl Holmes and Dwayne Rudd. An underachieving defensive line features Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown. Secondary held Colts All-Pro Marvin Harrison to 44 yards. Taylor and Bentley both intercepted Peyton Manning.

Defensive line

An anonymous scout told Sports Illustrated that Warren has been stealing money for years. Fellow former first-round choice Courtney Brown has begun earning his paycheck.


Fuzzy-cheeked group plays the style that Butch Davis wants: constant pursuit.


Lacks big names and size, but played well together against the Colts.

Defensive line edge: Tie

Linebackers edge: Ravens

Secondary edge: Browns

Ravens special teams

Overlooked in Steelers' loss was a kicking game that quietly did its job.

Browns special teams

Return specialist Dennis Northcutt can score in a variety of ways. Kicker Phil Dawson and punter Chris Gardocki are experienced professionals.

Special teams edge: Browns

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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