Ravens' inside slant

In a departure from the Ravens' typically ultra-conservative game plan, don't be shocked if offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh takes a few extra vertical shots against a Cleveland defense that has allowed 145 receptions for 1,746 yards and seven touchdowns.

When the Ravens have the football

In a departure from the Ravens' typically ultra-conservative game plan, don't be shocked if offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh takes a few extra vertical shots against a Cleveland defense that has allowed 145 receptions for 1,746 yards and seven touchdowns. Although passing isn't the Ravens' strength obviously with second-year quarterback Kyle Boller and ranking last in the NFL with 122.3 yards per contest through the air, Baltimore might be more inclined to try to test the Browns deep one game removed from Boller's top performance this season. Of course, the Ravens will need to use maximum protection alignments at times and chip on defensive end Kenard Lang. Lang exploited Jonathan Ogden replacement Ethan Brooks for three sacks the last time they tangled. Jamal Lewis remains the centerpiece of the Ravens' offense, but Baltimore may need to throw more effectively and often to win because for whatever reason Cleveland finally figured out how to tackle him during the season-opener. They played hard-nosed football and didn't gamble or react cowardly to the All-Pro runner's bruising presence.

Key matchup

RB Jamal Lewis vs. LB Andra Davis

Two old friends reunite in Lewis' return after a two-game drug-related suspension. There should be a few noteworthy collisions tonight.

When the Browns have the football

Watch the movement of quarterback Jeff Garcia. When he breaks outside the pocket, he's adept running or passing. Garcia has rushed for 114 yards on 28 carries for two touchdowns. Most often, though, he's simply looking for better passing lanes and sight lines to uncork the football downfield. Garcia has put up solid numbers, but is capable of posting high totals and making big plays. He has completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,382 yards, nine touchdowns, seven interceptions and an 80.7 passer rating. He's complemented well by receivers Dennis Northcutt, Andre Davis and Antonio Bryant, but misses blue-chip rookie tight end Kellen Winslow. Tight ends Aaron Shea and Steve Heiden are competent, but shouldn't scare anyone. The running game has a nice contrast of styles between the rugged William Green (431 yards) and the shifty Lee Suggs (209 yards).

Key matchup

QB Jeff Garcia vs OLB Terrell Suggs

Suggs ranks second in the AFC with seven sacks and will need to corner Garcia, an elusive, unconventional quarterback.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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