Foxworth: "It's going to turn around"

OWINGS MILLS -- Domonique Foxworth is convinced that the Baltimore Ravens' season of breakdowns is about to undergo a major reversal of fortune.   The Ravens' pass defense has fallen to 23rd in the league, allowing 241.5 yards per contest with nine touchdown passes surrendered and 22 completions of at least 20 yards.

Now, the Ravens (3-3) face the stiff challenge of trying to contain the undefeated Broncos (6-0) and their potent passing attack.

"I'm 100 percent confident for a number of reasons," said Foxworth, a former Broncos third-round draft pick who was traded to the Atlanta Falcons last year. "I think, on occasion, good teams go through bad stretches.

"I think that's what we are. You look at our roster and we have a lot of good players. It's going to turn around."

The Ravens have struggled to stop a series of deep strikes in losing three consecutive games by a total of 11 points.

And opposing quarterbacks have averaged an 89.1 rating against the Ravens, completing 62.8 percent of their passes and averaging 8.22 yards per attempt.

"It's just about limiting big plays," Foxworth said. "That's what it boils down to for our defense as a whole. We're all interconnected on the defense and as a team.

"Each guy and each unit depends on the other unit to do their job. We all need to step it up."

Especially this week when the Broncos come to town on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Since being traded from the Chicago Bears this offseason in the blockbuster deal that sent Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago, quarterback Kyle Orton's career has taken off.

In six games, Orton has passed for 1,465 yards and nine touchdowns. He has completed 61.3 percent of his throws with just one interception for a 100.1 quarterback rating.

And Orton has a variety of targets to choose from, including imposing former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall (29 receptions, 332 yards, four touchdowns), Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal, former Ravens receiver Brandon Stokley and tight end Tony Scheffler.

"Brandon's a great player," Foxworth said. "I practiced against him for a number of years. He's a talented guy and I look forward to the matchup."

For Foxworth, who was signed this offseason by the Ravens to a four-year, $27.2 million contract that included $16.5 million in guaranteed money, he doesn't expect this to be an emotional game since he played against the Broncos last year.

Foxworth was with the Broncos when cornerback Darrent Williams, his close friend, was murdered in a shooting.

"I played against them last year, so that's over with and I'm over that," Foxworth said. "It's going to be just another game. I know those guys, but I know guys on every team. It's nice to see them play well, especially given all the turmoil they had during the offseason.

"I developed a great love for that team, especially losing my teammate, Darrent. I really had a good relationship with that city. I'm really happy to see them blowing up out there. I still talk to some of those guys. I talk to Champ Bailey at least every couple of weeks."

For the former University of Maryland standout, this is the kind of high-profile matchup that the Ravens need him to win.

With one interception this year and a team-high seven pass deflections, Foxworth's play has been up and down in six starts while always drawing the opposition's most dangerous receiver.

As far as Foxworth is concerned, the big key for the defense is for everyone to carry out their individual assignment and not overcompensate for anyone else's mistakes.

"I think that can happen, yeah," Foxworth said. "I'm not in anybody's head, but everybody wants to play well and everybody is pushing and trying to do so much.

"You need to play within the scheme. You can't overreact to what's going on. You have to stay confident that it's going to turn around and get better. That's what I'm going to do."


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