Behind Enemy Lines: Baltimore Ravens

Terrell Suggs (Getty Images)

BattleRedNation.com editor Charlie Bernstein asks Ravens Insider publisher Aaron Wilson some specific questions about this Sunday's matchup between the Ravens and Texans.

1. The Ravens appear to have a championship caliber defense again, but they are obviously being led by a rookie quarterback. Although they wouldn't yet be considered a lock for the playoffs, assuming they do make it, how far can they go with that offense?

In my opinion, the Ravens are built to make the playoffs and possibly win a wild-card game with Joe Flacco at the controls. I don't see them traversing much further into the postseason against more experienced, complete teams.

2. Who do you believe will line up across from Andre Johnson on Sunday, and can any of the Ravens corners stop him?

Fabian Washington may get that assignment. He's fast enough to run with Johnson with 4.29 speed, but lacks elite awareness, instincts and hands. He is susceptible to double-moves. If the Ravens jam Johnson with a linebacker like Terrell Suggs or Bart Scott and float help over the top from free safety Ed Reed, they could negate Johnson's impact. That doesn't say much about what they'll do about Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter, though, who could benefit from extra attention being paid to the Texans' blue-chip wide receiver.

3. The Texans have a very average offensive line that's being led by a rookie left tackle. This week they will start a backup quarterback. Do you believe the Ravens will blitz a lot to take advantage of Houston's inexperience?


I think Sage Rosenfels is in big trouble. Terrell Suggs is having a banner season in his contract year. He already has five sacks, and he can smell the money coming his way. They had better keep somebody in the backfield to chip-block. Haloti Ngata is capable of collapsing the middle, too, and Trevor Pryce remains a tough customer outside.

4. One of the biggest surprises in the league has been Ravens FB/RB Le'Ron McClain. Where did this guy come from and did you see this coming?


McClain never was tackled for a loss at Alabama and flashed versatility with his hands and ability to run after the catch. The Ravens pay special attention to Alabama players since Ozzie Newsome played for Bear Bryant and watches every game the Crimson Tide plays. He was aware of McClain's talents, and Cam Cameron's arrival got the fullback more involved. The Ravens were looking for a short-yardage specialist and he fit the bill.

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