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Scouting report

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens run offense vs. Dolphins run defense: In four games in Miami, Willis McGahee has averaged 91.7 rushing yards, including 104 yards last season. But McGahee, who has been hampered by rib and knee injuries, has been held under 3 yards a carry the past two games. Le'Ron McClain's carries have decreased every game since the season opener. Behind ILB Channing Crowder (team-leading 31 solo tackles), the Dolphins are ranked No. 8 in the NFL against the run. But the improved run defense took a step back last Sunday in Houston when it gave up more than 100 rushing yards (114) for the first time since a season-opening loss to the Jets. Edge: EVEN

Ravens pass offense vs. Dolphins pass defense: Rookie QB Joe Flacco has regressed, throwing five interceptions in his past two games. The Ravens will have a new-look right side on the offensive line with G Chris Chester and T Willie Anderson. The Dolphins have given up some big plays, but they usually have trouble with bigger receivers such as Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin. The Ravens don't have receivers with size or explosion. Third receiver Demetrius Williams has been slowed by an ankle injury after having his best game of the season. Edge: DOLPHINS

Dolphins run offense vs. Ravens run defense: Ronnie Brown is one of the hotter backs in the NFL, averaging 96 rushing yards the past three games. He has scored six touchdowns during that span. But his first meeting with the Ravens could be a tough one. Even though the Ravens looked vulnerable against Colts backup RB Dominic Rhodes, they rarely struggle in consecutive weeks. This defense hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 24 straight games, the longest current streak in the league. The Ravens have given up one rushing touchdown this season. Edge: RAVENS

Dolphins pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense: Still banged up in the secondary, the Ravens will play without two starters, CB Samari Rolle (neck) and S Dawan Landry (neck). Fabian Washington is expected to start for Rolle after missing the last game. FS Ed Reed is questionable with a hamstring injury, but he is expected to play. The Ravens' pass rush has been nonexistent, recording two sacks in the past two games. Dolphins QB Chad Pennington is accurate but lacks a big arm. WR Greg Camarillo, who scored the game-winning 64-yard touchdown to beat the Ravens last season, is Miami's leading receiver (21 catches for 263 yards and one touchdown). Edge: EVEN

Special teams: Miami has two of the NFL's worst coverage teams. The Dolphins allow 15.8 yards a punt return, which is fourth worst in the NFL. They give up 28.2 yards on kickoff returns, which is worst in the league. But the Ravens' return game has struggled and isn't at full strength. With Yamon Figurs out with a knee injury, the Ravens have to decide whether to go with Jim Leonhard, Ray Rice or Tom Zbikowski as their returner. Edge: EVEN

Intangibles: The Ravens' road losing streak is at seven games. They are coming off a 28-point loss at Indianapolis, the third-largest margin of defeat in team history. Injuries are taking their toll on the Ravens' secondary and offensive line. Miami has won all four home regular-season meetings against the Ravens. The Dolphins, who have 26 players left from Cam Cameron's lone season as head coach, are motivated to show they weren't the reason for last season's 1-15 mark. Edge: DOLPHINS

Prediction: The Ravens' defense will bounce back from last Sunday's nightmare performance. The same can't be said for their offense. It'll be another tough day for Flacco and his beat-up offensive line.


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