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Redskins-Ravens preview: Battle of the Beltways

The two NFL teams in the DMV battle Sunday in Baltimore. Will one prove elite. If so, do you like that?

MatchupWashington Redskins (2-2) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Kickoff: Sunday, October 9, 1:00 PM EDT

Location: M&T Bank Stadium

Television: FOX (Kenny Albert, Darryl Johnson, Laura Okmin)

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Odds: Ravens (-3.5), O/U: 45

Social media: Twitter: @BreakBurgundyFacebook

Last Week: Washington took care of business against the Browns while the Ravens suffered their first loss of the season to the Raiders.

Matchup History: Washington trails the all-time series 2-3 and has not won in Baltimore since defeating the then-Baltimore Colts in 1955. The Redskins beat the Ravens in 2012 in the same game that saw Robert Griffin III suffer the first injury of his NFL career.

2016 Rankings: (Yards Gained/Allowed):

Washington – Offense (8th); Defense (29th)

Baltimore – Offense (19th); Defense (1st)

Baltimore’s Strength: Linebacker Terrell Suggs might be the most dangerous player on the Ravens' defense, but it is the Baltimore secondary that is their greatest strength. The Ravens have held opponents to an average of 176 passing yards per game and have intercepted opposing quarterbacks five times. Cornerback Jimmy Smith is playing well while safety Eric Weddle is enjoying playing center field alongside converted corner Lardarius Webb. Washington has a lot of receiving weapons, but Baltimore has a strong group of defensive backs who can possibly mitigate their impact. The Redskins' best bet would be targeting CB Shareece Wright.

Baltimore’s Weakness: With the release of RB Justin Forsett, Baltimore is relying on Terrance West to be their workhorse as Kenneth Dixon works his way back from a sprained MCL. That move might not have been wise as West accumulated just 119 rushing yards through three weeks, although he did rip the Raiders for 113 yards on the ground last Sunday. Oakland has given up the second-most rushing yards per game in 2016, and Washington is not much better at stopping the run (third-most per game). But the Redskins will have an opportunity to improve their stats against a relatively soft spot in Baltimore's roster.

Prediction: The reason why the Ravens have been a successful team for many years is they have few weaknesses. Even their weakness at running back is not as pressing as Washington's need for run stoppers. Joe Flacco is not an elite quarterback, but he does enough to help his team earn the victory on a consistent basis. Unless Kirk Cousins starts looking like the guy who threw three touchdowns in a quarter against Dallas last year, the Redskins will lose this game and regional bragging rights.

Final score: 27-20, Baltimore.

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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