Game Preview: Secondary To Be Tested

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The Carolina Panthers threw four quarterbacks with a combined four years of experience at Baltimore in the Ravens' first preseason test.

Now here comes Washington – an entirely different story.

Fresh off a 42-point output in their preseason opener, the Redskins will start Pro Bowl veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb, followed by eight-year veteran Rex Grossman and then former Raven John Beck.

Needless to say, the much-questioned Ravens secondary expects to get a more thorough evaluation in its second preseason game Saturday night at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

"I think it will be a great test, because I know McNabb is going to make smart decisions," Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington said. "He's a proven quarterback and leader in this league, so it's definitely going to be a test."

The Ravens' secondary was exemplary in its first game test, surrendering just 131 passing yards with young corners Cary Williams and Prince Miller standing out in coverage. Fans will get a more complete picture Saturday.

Washington will return to the starting lineup for the first time since his season-ending knee injury last year. Chris Carr, who will likely start if Lardarius Webb isn't healthy enough for the regular season opener on Sept. 13, expects to play a quarter or more after barely seeing action last Thursday (hamstring).

"You want to make things hard in the preseason so you can get better and so you can correct your mistakes," Carr said. "You want teams to do different things against you."

McNabb and the Ravens have a bit of history. The last time they met on Nov. 23, 2008, McNabb was benched after going 8-for-18 with two interceptions in the first half. Now, two years later, his replacement Kevin Kolb is the starter and McNabb is a member of the rival Redskins.

McNabb had a solid Redskins debut, going 5-for-8 for 58 yards and one touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, a former Philadelphia special teams coordinator, knows what the Ravens are in for Saturday.

"He's a premiere quarterback," Harbaugh said. "We're going to see a few of those guys this year, so it's good for us to see that."

3 Players On The Bubble
David Reed, WR: Reed opened eyes with some dazzling catches during Organized Team Activities. But the rookie fifth-round pick struggled with drops during training camp. In a deep and talented wide receiver corps, Reed is going to need to stand out from here on out to make the active roster.

Arthur Jones, DT: The Ravens' other fifth-round pick could use a big performance considering his veteran competition stood out last Thursday against the Panthers. Fellow interior tackles Kelly Talavou and Lamar Divens each notched a sack versus Carolina. Jones has big potential. He just has to show it.

Jason Phillips, ILB: Baltimore loved Phillips' potential as a tackling machine when they drafted him in the fifth round last year. But after spending all of last season on Injured Reserve, Phillips finds himself behind four inside linebackers (Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden). He's especially got to excel on special teams.

3 Things For The Ravens To Win

Offensive Line Holds Up: This will be a big task for the Ravens. After surrendering six sacks to the Panthers, Baltimore will face the Redskins without Jared Gaitherand probably Oniel Cousins too. That leaves Tony Moll, Joe Reitz and rookies Ramon Harewood and Devin Tyler to man right tackle.

Stuff The Run: The Ravens didn't quite plug up Carolina the way they are used to and are looking to bounce back against the Skins, who have three proven backs in Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. New Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan is known for his outside running game.

Contain The Tight Ends: Washington has one of the more talented tight end duos in the league with Chris Cooley, who is coming off a season-ending injury, and Fred Davis, the youngster who sparkled in Cooley's absence. We'll get a good look at how good the Ravens' linebackers are in coverage.

2009 FINAL RANKINGS

Ravens

Redskins

Category

Stats

Rank

Stats

Rank

Total Offense

351.2

13

312.5

22

Rush Offense

137.5

5

94.4

27

Pass Offense

213.7

18

218.1

16

Points/Game

24.4

9

16.6

26

Total Defense

300.5

3

319.7

10

Rush Defense

93.3

5

112.4

16

Pass Defense

207.3

8(t)

207.3

8(t)

Points/Game

16.3

3

21

18

2009 TALE OF THE TAPE

Ravens                          Category                           Redskins

9-7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2009 Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-12

Won 3. . . . . . . . . . . . Longest Streak . . . . . . . . . . . .Won 1

  1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Points Scored . . . . . . . . . . . . .266

  1. . . . . . . . . . . . Touchdowns Scored . . . . . . . . . . .29

  1. . . . . . . . Rushing Touchdowns Scored . . . . . . . .8

  1. . . . . . . . Passing Touchdowns Scored . . . . . . . .21

  1. . . . . . . . . . Touchdowns on Returns . . . . . . . . . .0

  1. . . . . . . . . . . . . Points Against . . . . . . . . . . . . .336

  1. . . . . . . . . . . Touchdowns Allowed . . . . . . . . . . .34

  1. . . . . . . . Rushing Touchdowns Allowed . . . . . . . .10

  1. . . . . . . . Passing Touchdowns Allowed . . . . . . . .19

  1. . . . . . . . . . . TDs Allowed by Return . . . . . . . . . . .5

29:18. . . . . . . . . . . Time of Posession Avg.. . . . . . . . . . .28:49

+10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Turnover Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-11

52.6%. . . . . . . . . Red Zone TD Pct. For . . . . . . . . .56.5%

41.9%. . . . . . . . Red Zone TD Pct. Against . . . . . . .39.0%

26.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . KOR Avg. For . . . . . . . . . . . . .21.7

20.3. . . . . . . . . . . . KOR Avg. Against . . . . . . . . . . .19.7

7.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PR Avg. For . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4.8

7.6. . . . . . . . . . . . . PR Avg. Against . . . . . . . . . . . .6.9

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