Ravens-Redskins: Defense Leads to Seventh Win in Eight Contests

Bleacher Report Senior Writer IDecember 8, 2008

Last night in the Battle of the Beltway, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Washington Redskins, 24-10. Ed Reed picked off two passes, and Ray Lewis made 13 tackles and one quarterback sack.

The Ravens got off to a very promising start. The Washington Redskins got ball first and after a dropped pass by Santana Moss and a 12-yard gain by tight end Chris Cooley, Terrell Suggs applied pressure to Campbell.

Suggs hit Campbell's arm enough to get Ed Reed an interception, the safety's fifth of the season and fourth in last three games. The Ravens took advantage of the good field position. Joe Flacco hit Derrick Mason immediately for a 26-yard gain to the Redskins' 29-yard line.

After a run of no gain by Ray Rice and an incomplete pass, the Ravens surprisingly ran—and ran well. Ray Rice ran up the middle for 21 yards to the Ravens eight. That's when you factor Le'Ron McClain into the equation. The fullback ran eight yards for the touchdown, giving the Ravens a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.

But, the Redskins' offense is dangerous, with Jason Campbell at quarterback, Clinton Portis at tailback, and Moss and Cooley catching passes. They didn't prove it the next drive. They got four yards on a Portis run and two Campbell incompletions. The Ravens didn't do much better, either. Two more Flacco incompletions set up 3rd-and-10, when Flacco ran for nine yards—but was stopped by London Fletcher.

After a great Sam Koch punt to the 11-yard line of the Redskins, the 'Skins would have the ball. Portis ran for 11 yards - but fumbled! Ballhawk Ed Reed picked it up and backpedaled into the end zone, making it 14-0 Ravens. The play was reviewed by the referees and it showed Portis did fumble and the Ravens had a two touchdown lead six minutes into the game.

Neither team could muster any offense the rest of the first quarter - and first half, for that matter. The closest any team got in opposing territory was the Redskins, who got to the Ravens 30 yard line. That drive ended with a missed 48-yard field goal by place kicker Shaun Suisham.

The second half started and neither team scored on their initial drives. It looked as if the game would end 14-0. Not so fast! The Ravens put together a time consuming, effective drive that ended with a 32 yard field goal. The drive included a 4th-and-1 conversion that went for 24 yards on a pass from Flacco to Todd Heap.

The Ravens forced ANOTHER punt the next drive from Ryan Plackemeier, who got virtually more playing time then most Redskins offensive starters. The Ravens couldn't take advantage though. In fact, Flacco was intercepted by Redskins safety LaRon Landry, whose brother Dawan plays for the Ravens.

The 'Skins only gained one net yard on the drive and even lost 13 yards on a sack, but were in good enough position for Shaun Suisham to kick a 42 yard field goal to make it 17-3.

It was time for the Ravens to put some offense on the board. They hadn't scored since 11:59 in the first quarter. But it didn't happen. After a six yard pass to Derrick Mason, the Ravens gave it to Willis McGahee. McGahee gave a solid second effort, putting his hand on the ground to pick himself up.

However, he fumbled! DeAngelo Hall picked it up and took it to the Ravens 30 yard line. Not only did he fumble, McGahee was injured.

The Redskins showed change the next play, picking up 23 yards on a screen pass to Ladell Betts. After an incomplete pass, a loss of five and a gain of seven, the Redskins hooked up for a touchdown—a pass from Jason Campbell to Antwaan Randle El.

It was the first offensive touchdown allowed by Baltimore since Giants corner back Aaron Ross intercepted a Joe Flacco pass and ran it back 50 yards for a score with 0:14 left in the third quarter. That was four games ago!

The Ravens knew they HAD to score somehow. They decided to go with the run. Le'Ron McClain ran behind Lorenzo Neal 10 times for 43 yards. Mark Clayton even ran on a reverse for 12 yards. It proves what a valuable pickup Neal was and how much San Diego needs him now.

On the last play, the Ravens shocked everyone by passing. Joe Flacco showed run, but made an effective fake hand off. He lobbed it up for Derrick Mason, who caught it for a 28 yard touchdown, making it 24-10 Ravens.

That's exactly what they needed.

After a fourth down conversion and a Redskins penalty, Jason Campbell was picked off - different pick, same person. Ed Reed picked him off again and the game was over.


Joe Flacco: 10-for-21, 134 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Jason Campbell: 21-for-37, 218 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT


Le'Ron McClain: 20 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD

Clinton Portis: 11 carries, 32 yards


Derrick Mason: 3 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD

Antwaan Randle El: 5 catches, 47 yards


Ray Lewis: 13 tackles, 1 sack

London Fletcher: 12 tackles


Ravens: 9-4

Redskins: 7-6