Baltimore Ravens Team Notes - Thursday

<p> If the Baltimore Ravens want to get back on the road to the playoffs, they have to capitalize on their home-field advantage and the Seattle Seahawks' road disadvantage. The Ravens (5-5) have lost two in a row but have a solid chance to regroup for the remainder of the season, which includes four of their last six at home. Tied atop the AFC North with Cincinnati, Baltimore is 3-1 at M&amp;T Bank Stadium this season and has shown more focus at home.</p>

Meanwhile, the Seahawks (7-3) have lost all three of their games on the road and have to travel cross country to play the Ravens. "We've been pretty good at home and clearly winning at home the next three weeks and finally against Pittsburgh here is pivotal," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. Said running back Jamal Lewis: "It's time to bring it home."

Seattle has lost its only games of the season at Green Bay, at Cincinnati and at Washington. The Seahawks have turned the ball over 10 times on the road. "I don't think it was the stadium, the fact that we were away from home or that we are flying," Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "I think we made mistakes. People are talking a lot about the road thing. I'm not sure that is what it was. I think we didn't get it done."

The talk around the Ravens has been the same -- turnovers. They have committed 10 of their AFC-worst 25 turnovers the past two games, which were both on the road. Five interceptions and five fumbles have negated what has been two dominating efforts by the Baltimore defense. "It's about focus and execution," Billick said. "There's only so much you can do. Don't make mistakes and be physical. It's all the same things that it takes to win any football game."

The Ravens have also hurt themselves by being flagged for 20 penalties the past two weeks. It's been mostly the offense, which has been called for six false starts. "The antenna has to be all the way up," said Lewis. "We have to really concentrate on playing at our caliber the next six weeks. It all starts against Seattle. We'll put it all together."

SERIES HISTORY: 2nd meeting. The Ravens won the only previous meeting, 31-24, back in 1997. Jermaine Lewis returned two punts for touchdowns, tying an NFL record. The Ravens held onto the win by intercepting John Friesz on three consecutive possessions.

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES
--Anthony Wright has more to worry about than just his second start as the Ravens quarterback. Wright and his wife, Nicole, are expecting their second child at any time. The birth has admittedly been a distraction and could cause him to miss some practice time. "She was due today," Wright said. "Hopefully, she'll hold out for me until next Monday or Tuesday."

--Sunday will mark the return of Trent Dilfer, who quarterbacked the Ravens to their Super Bowl victory three years ago. After the championship, the Ravens became the first Super Bowl-winning team not to bring back their quarterback, signing free agent Elvis Grbac instead. "It's great to have Trent back," coach Brian Billick said. "I'm sure the fans will be appreciative. It will be good to see Trent but not unlike other players who have come back."

--The Ravens won't have an indoor facility until next year, which didn't help them battle the downpours Wednesday. The team practiced at an indoor high school gymnasium and could only go half-speed. "You do what you can," Billick said. "It is something we're going to have to deal with all the way through."

--Running back Jamal Lewis was not on the injury report for the second straight week and the league's leading rusher said his sprained right shoulder is no longer a factor. "My shoulder is good," Lewis said. "I feel better than I have in the last four or five weeks."

--The Ravens are 23-12 in games played in November and December, the league's fourth-best winning percentage in those months.

--When leading at halftime and after three quarters, the Ravens are 5-0. When they trail by six or more points at the end of the first quarter, they are 0-3.

--In five seasons under Billick, the Ravens have a 21-5 record when they produce a 100-yard rusher.

--The Ravens are 3-0 at home against NFC West opponents.

BY THE NUMBERS: 26 -- Points given up in the last two weeks off 10 turnovers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It all begins with not beating yourself with turnovers and penalties, and that's where we are not producing right now. That's where we are coming up short." -- Coach Brian Billick on the Ravens' first losing streak of the season.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Ravens are extremely thin in the passing game, with their starting quarterback Kyle Boller still sidelined and half of their four receivers on the injury report. Frank Sanders (ankle) and Marcus Robinson (chest) are both questionable, leaving the Ravens with only Travis Taylor and Ron Johnson. Sanders may still be a week away from returning while Robinson isn't considered nearly as serious. Still, the league's worst passing attack needs all the help it can get. With such a rash of injuries, the Ravens will run two tight end formations a majority of the time.

PERSONNEL/INJURY NOTES
--QB Kyle Boller (leg) is out for at least three weeks.
--TE John Jones (leg) is doubtful and will not play Sunday.
--WR Frank Sanders (ankle) practiced but it could be a game-time decision Sunday.
--WR Marcus Robinson (chest) is questionable but is expected to play Sunday.
--DE Anthony Weaver (neck) is questionable but should start Sunday.

GAME PLAN: With half of their receivers injured, the Ravens will stick to their season-long game plan of running the ball 60 percent of the time. Jamal Lewis is expected to get between 27 to 30 carries against a Seattle defense that has allowed over 100 yards in three of the past four games. Once again, Anthony Wright will be restricted to a limited game plan in his second start. Baltimore has a lot of respect for the Seattle secondary and don't want to turn the ball over.

The Ravens defense has raised its game against the pass and rarely allows more than one pass play above 20 yards per game. Although the Seahawks rely on balance, they may need to run the ball more since the Ravens secondary has been so dominant. The Ravens have been hit or miss against the run and it largely depends on how effective their defensive front keeps blockers off linebacker Ray Lewis.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens running back Jamal Lewis vs. Seahawks run defense. Lewis leads the league in rushing but has been held under 100 yards in two of his last three games. The Seahawks rank 16th in the league, allowing 114.5 yards per game.

--Ravens safety Ed Reed vs. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Reed has great anticipation and has made 11 interceptions in 26 games. Hasselbeck has protected the ball well, throwing just one interception in his past three games.

--Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis vs. Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander. Lewis is the key to the Ravens' ninth-ranked run defense. He leads the team with 139 tackles. Alexander has gained at least 94 yards in his past two games and has scored a touchdown in three straight games.

--Ravens vs. their home crowd. Coach Brian Billick has stressed all week how much the team needs the support of its fans. Coming home on a two-game losing streak, the Ravens could face some boos if they don't start quick.

INJURY IMPACT: Quarterback Kyle Boller (leg) is out and will be replaced by Anthony Wright.

--Wide receiver Frank Sanders (ankle) is questionable and would be replaced Marcus Robinson, who is also not 100 percent.

--Tight end John Jones (leg) will not play which hurts the Ravens' punt and kickoff coverage teams.


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