Redskins-Ravens: Predictions Roundtable

Luke JonesCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2008

Members of the Bleacher Report Baltimore Ravens Community break down Sunday night's game between the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens.

Chad Lamasa: The Redskins are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Giants, so they are going to be out for blood this weekend. They have a strong secondary, but I don't think they can get to Flacco.

Their leader in sacks is Demetric Evans with four. They have 19 total for the season. If our offensive line can keep up the outstanding job they've done so far this year and protect quarterback Joe Flacco, we should be able to keep him on his feet the whole game.

Meanwhile their offensive line has given up 32 sacks for 210 yards lost. The Ravens' defense will eat Campbell alive if their offensive line continues to be so porous.

Clinton Portis is a great running back but he's banged up and nowhere near 100 percent. Plus, the Ravens' defense has rarely gives up over 100 yards rushing at home, so Portis should be a non-factor.

The receiving corps is decent but past its prime, as Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El were better on their previous teams. Tight end Chris Cooley is solid but can be shut down.

Jason Campbell is overrated and has never proven anything to me. He has only thrown four picks on the season, but they have come in four of their last five games all against teams with solid defensive units, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and the New York Giants. The only game out of the five that he didn't have a pick was against Seattle. What is the Ravens bread and butter? Oh yeah, that would be defense. I expect us to have at least two picks and one for a touchdown.

On the Ravens' side, if Flacco can get the time he's come to expect from his offensive line, we'll be fine. If he's not hurried or scrambling away from sack attempts, he will be able to complete passes and lead us down the field.

Willis McGahee will be back and we will be using the three-back attack.

Derrick Mason will be solid as usual. If Mark Clayton can continue to build on the game he had last weekend, that will give us two deeper threats. If they get shut down, we have Heap for the short passes and the running game to rely on.

I see the Ravens winning this game.

The prediction:  Ravens 24-10


Isaac Barrow: Right now, the Baltimore Ravens are one of the hottest teams in football while the Redskins, who got off to a great start, are cooling off. The Ravens have won six of their past seven and stand at 8-4. The Skins have lost three of four and are now 7-5 after starting 6-2.

In his last seven games, Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco has ten touchdowns and just two interceptions. Both of those interceptions were against the New York Giants.

This game is the "Battle of the Beltway," and the environment in M&T Bank Stadium will be hostile. It will be the first time in Ravens history that the Redskins visit in a regular season game. I don't expect it to be a polite welcoming.

The thing that also gives the Ravens an edge is Clinton Portis' constant injury troubles. Despite being among the leaders in a lot of offensive categories, he is dealing with multiple injuries. As a result, he ran for 22 yards on 11 carries against the Giants.

Jason Campbell has not been making too many mistakes, but has just four touchdowns in his last seven contests. The Redskins also have seemed to come up lifeless in these meaningful games. As not just a Ravens fan, but an NFL fan, I don't think that will be changing against one of the most dominant defenses in the Ravens.

But I am in no way saying the Redskins can't win. If the Skins can get a decent game out of Portis and protect Campbell, they can win. But in all due respect to the Skins, do you think that will happen?

The prediction:  Ravens 23-6


Luke Jones: As Issac already mentioned, it's difficult to believe this will be Washington's first trip to Baltimore to play the Ravens.  This game has been circled on many Baltimore fans' calendars since Art Modell announced he was moving his franchise to Baltimore for the 1996 season.

The rivalry between the teams only exists for the fans of Washington and Baltimore, but this will create an electric atmosphere in Baltimore for Sunday Night Football.

The 8-4 Ravens and 7-5 Redskins appear to be heading in opposite directions.  The Ravens, winners of 6 of their 7 games, remain one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North with a big division battle between the two looming next week. 

The Redskins have lost three of their last four games, though the three losses came against three top teams in the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins have the league's sixth-ranked defense and have an extremely tough secondary.  When former Pro Bowl selections DeAngelo Hall and Shawn Springs are your third and fourth cornerbacks, it says something.

The Redskins struggle to get consistent pressure on the quarterback, however, as the trade for defensive end Jason Taylor (one sack) has not brought the impact pass rusher that coach Jim Zorn hoped it would.

Joe Flacco continues to improve each week and has really become a quarterback for opposing defenses to be aware of.  Over the past seven games, he has thrown 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions.  If the Redskins' defensive line cannot pressure the rookie, he will make some plays with his arm.

The Redskins are tough against the run, ranked seventh overall, but the Ravens' third-ranked rushing attack averages 143.8 yards per game.  Look for the Ravens to control the pace of the game, using any of the three-headed attack of Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee.  It will be interesting to see if McGahee will find his way out of coach John Harbaugh's doghouse and back onto the field this week.

Redskins running back Clinton Portis is second in the league in rushing but is slowed by several injuries.  Don't expect him to get any healthier against the Ravens' third-ranked run defense that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in two seasons.  

Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell has thrown only four interceptions all season, but he seems to lack that big-game confidence to lead a team down the stretch into the playoffs.  He has all of the tools to succeed, but the question marks remain until he can beat a tough defense. 

He'll get his chance Sunday night against the league's second-ranked defense, but he won't be up to the challenge.

The Ravens' offense will not be able to produce as much this week against a strong defense as they have over the past two weeks, but it will be more than what Portis and the Redskins can muster against the tough Baltimore defense.

The prediction:  Ravens 17-10


The Baltimore Ravens Community would like to hear your predictions for Sunday's game.  Will the Ravens beat Washington?  Or, will the Redskins make a statement for their NFC playoff hopes by upsetting the Ravens?  Leave your comments below.