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5 stats that stand out ahead of Ravens-Jaguars

Only one of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Ravens was expected to be 2-6 at this point in the season, but for all the similarities between them — a lack of forced turnovers and recent struggles on the road — there are also plenty of differences. Here are five stats that stand out ahead of the Jaguars' visit to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

8: The Ravens had a season-high eight sacks on Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles in this game last season, part of an astonishing league-high 71 sacks allowed by the Jaguars. They're on pace for significantly fewer in 2015, having allowed 25 at the halfway point of the season, thanks in part to free-agent center Stefen Wisniewski and right tackle Jermey Parnell, plus rookie right guard A.J. Cann. Whether the Ravens can get to Bortles at a similar clip this year could prove the difference in what was a close game in 2014 and could be again this season.

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Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was defiant in the face of criticism he perceives from the media and defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

-> 13: The Jaguars haven't won any of their past 13 road games, dating to before Bortles' career began. Their last road win came in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 2013. In fairness to Jacksonville, the Jaguars have won away from EverBank Field since then, beating the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 in London. That was considered a home game, but still. The Ravens are 5-8 on the road in their past 13 tries, dragged down by the 1-4 start away from Baltimore this season. Luckily, they're catching Jacksonville here, where the Ravens are 46-13 under Harbaugh.

-> -7: The Ravens and Jaguars enter the game tied for the second-worst turnover differential in the NFL, and both coaches have stressed entering the game that creating turnovers would be a priority. Certainly, there's a correlation between wins and losses and turnovers. Entering Week 9, 15 NFL teams had a positive turnover differential. Only two — the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — are below .500. Conversely, of the 15 teams who have a negative turnover ratio, none have a winning record. Someone has to win Sunday, and perhaps it will be the team that forces a turnover or two.

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Reserve offensive lineman John Urschel was emphatic that his issues with snaps from the shotgun formation wouldn¿t return if he¿s called into action Sunday.

-> 326: Since the Jaguars released inside linebacker Daryl Smith and he came to Baltimore as a ready-made Ray Lewis replacement in 2013, Smith's 326 total tackles are fourth most in the NFL. That includes 76 this season, which leads the Ravens and is third most in the NFL. Smith has been a steadying force in the center of the defense, frequently teaming with inside linebacker C.J. Mosley to keep running backs out of the second level and contributing to another stout Ravens rush defense.

-> 14: The Ravens have allowed 14 receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this season, tied with the New Orleans Saints for most in the NFL. Wide receivers, paced by Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns with six apiece, have 14 of the Jaguars' 17 touchdown passes this season. They have four touchdowns as a team by non-wide receivers, so the onus Sunday will be on cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright and Lardarius Webb to keep the big targets out of the end zone.

At 2-6, the Ravens are far closer in the AFC North to the last-place Cleveland Browns (2-7) than the second-place Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4).
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