Redskins-Ravens Preview

Sunday, December 7, 2008: 3:25 PM

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It is now time to preview tonight’s Battle of the Beltway. The game will be televised nationally by NBC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 PM. Weather is going to be very cold. 30 degrees with 20 mph wind gusts. The last time the Redskins played in Baltimore was in 1978. It was a Monday night game, won by the Baltimore Colts, 21-17.

Here are a few match-ups to keep your eye on this evening:

Clinton Portis vs. Ravens front seven: Portis is banged up but will get start tonight. He is a very dangerous back who is 2nd in the league in rushing, but the Ravens D should contain him. Ladell Betts should see an increase in carries tonight The Ravens haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 31 games. That is the longest current streak in the league. ADVANTAGE: Ravens front seven

Santana Moss vs. Ravens secondary: Moss is a speedy receiver who can make game changing plays. He will receive lots of attention from Jim Leonhard and fellow Miami Hurricane Ed Reed. If he doesn’t score on a big play tonight he will still be a factor because of the amount of attention he gets. One extra man paying attention to him means someone else on the ‘skins receiving corps can step up. ADVANTAGE: Moss

Chris Cooley vs. Ravens linebackers: A very talented tight end, Chris Cooley has been quiet this year. He has not enjoyed the success that he had last season. He should get 4-5 catches tonight…but nothing big. Ray Lewis and company will be flying all over the field. ADVANTAGE: Ravens linebackers

Ravens receivers vs. Redskins secondary: Mark Clayton had his breakout game last week, and he should come back to earth tonight. The Redskins are likely to respect what he did last week and give him a little more room than usual. This should allow for some underneath routes to develop. Also remember that Derrick Mason is having a very solid year, he is just as dangerous. I have been really impressed with rookie strong safety Chris Horton. Look for him to make a big play or two. ADVANTAGE: Even

McClain/Rice/McGahee vs. Redskins front seven: Not having Marcus Washington really hurts the ‘Skins tonight. They haven’t had him since week 11 against the Cowboys due to a high ankle sprain. Willis McGahee didn’t play at all last Sunday, even though he dressed. It will be interesting to see how many carries (if any) he gets tonight. Le’Ron McClain will certainly get the bulk of the carries with Ray Rice coming on on 3rd downs. I like the 3 headed monster tonight. ADVANTAGE: McClain/Rice/McGahee

The Prediction: Homefield advantage helps the Ravens tremendously tonight. The Redskins are in a downward spiral and have lost 3 of their past 4. Portis needs to be strong tonight and I just don’t see that hapening with all of his nagging injuries. Jason Campbell will have to be sharp and quick tonight, the Ravens thrive off of mistakes. RAVENS WIN: 30-13

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