When the Ravens have the football
Anticipate a fairly conservative game plan in Anthony Wright's first start in two seasons with some vertical routes mixed in as a nod to his superior ability to throw deep compared to Kyle Boller. The Titans can be bullied at the point of attack. Well, everyone except for defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, but he can be avoided for the most part. Jamal Lewis is looking to take out his frustration over a lingering contract dispute and lack of action last week. He's determined to prove that the legal turmoil of his offseason and recovery from right ankle surgery won't carry over into the regular season.
RB Jamal Lewis vs. LB Keith Bulluck
Lewis is one of the most overpowering runners in the league, and Bulluck is one of the most athletic, braggadocious linebackers. This encounter should be hard-hitting and loud.
How the Ravens can win
1. Exploit a weak Titans rushing defense that ranks 30th in the league after a game where they allowed obscure Steelers running back Willie Parker to rush for a career-high 160 yards, increasing Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor's workload significantly.
2. Use cornerback Samari Rolle and receiver Derrick Mason's extensive knowledge of their former team to make an impact by anticipating schemes and personnel weaknesses.
3. Bait quarterback Steve McNair into mistakes as he has a career mark of 6-8 against Baltimore with seven touchdowns, 15 interceptions and 26 sacks.
When the Titans have the football
Watch how they'll try to get tailback Chris Brown more carries in the perimeter to test out Ray Lewis one week after he didn't excel against Edgerrin James. Quarterback Steve McNair loves to throw to his pair of tight ends, Erron Kinney and Ben Troupe. That was working effectively against the Steelers until they got away from that plan of attack. The Ravens are concerned about McNair's mobility, and the depth of the Titans' running game.
QB Steve McNair vs. LB Ray Lewis
Lewis calls McNair a warrior. However, Lewis typically wins this gladiator clash, most notably his game-changing interception for a touchdown in the 2000 playoffs en route to a Super Bowl title. Five years later, will it be a different outcome?
How the Titans can win
1. Disguise coverage schemes and blitz packages to confuse and pressure quarterback Anthony Wright in his first start in two seasons.
2. Try to isolate Deion Sanders in man coverage as he struggled last week against Brandon Stokley and is hobbled slightly with a thigh injury.
3. Shadow Jamal Lewis with linebacker Keith Bulluck, a brash, athletic defender who has led the Titans in tackles for the past three seasons.
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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