Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tries to avoid Detroit
Lions' Ndamukong Suh (90) during the first half of an NFL
football game Oct. 6th in Green Bay.
BALTIMORE - The
Green Bay Packers are running more this season. The Baltimore Ravens
have become enamored of the pass.
Rodgers remains a huge part of Green Bay's offense, and the Ravens
haven't forgotten about running back Ray Rice. It's just that both
teams are trying to be less predictable, a process that will
continue Sunday when the Packers travel to Baltimore for the first
time since 2005.
In last week's 22-9
win over Detroit, Rodgers threw 40 passes and the Packers (2-2)
rushed 33 times, including 23 attempts by Eddie Lacy.
we're changing some of those preconceptions about us," Rodgers
said. "We're in the top five in the league in rushing yards per
game. Eddie was a yard away from being our third different 100-yard
back this year, where we had 40-plus games before that without a guy
who rushed for 100 yards. Obviously, teams are playing us a little
more to pass because we have here in the past, but I think we can do
some good things in the running game."
The Ravens used to
be all about the run, but this season Rice has yet to reach the
100-yard mark and Baltimore ranks 27th in rushing. Two weeks ago,
the Ravens attempted a franchise-low nine runs in a loss to Buffalo,
and quarterback Joe Flacco thus far is averaging 40 passes a game.
Baltimore (3-2) is
passing more often because, well, it has to. The running game is
averaging a meager 2.8 yards per carry, even though the Ravens had a
season-high 133 yards on the ground on 40 carries last week in
"Now we feel
like we're headed in a (direction) where we know our running game is
only going to get better from here," Rice said. "It felt
good to just keep putting our foot on the pedal."
It's all about
doing what works.
way up, and it gives us a chance to be more balanced," Packers
coach Mike McCarthy said. "At the end of the day, I think it's
really helped our football team."
Here are five
things to know about the Packers-Ravens matchup:
WATCH OUT FOR
SUGGS: Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs is having a terrific
season. He's had at least one sack in every game and had 17 tackles
"You have to
account for him on every play, and that's the respect that he
commands because of what he's done in his career and obviously what
he's done this year," Rodgers said.
The feeling is
mutual. Suggs said of Rodgers: "He's a champion. He's
definitely one of the best quarterbacks in this league."
HOME RUN: The
Ravens have won 13 straight home games against NFC foes and are 35-7
in five-plus seasons under John Harbaugh.
That does not bode
well for Green Bay, 0-2 on the road this season.
"We lost two
games against two good opponents, San Francisco and
Cincinnati," Rodgers said. "But we turned the ball over a
bunch of times."
Green Bay had a
combined six turnovers in those two defeats.
MATTHEWS OUT: The
Packers will be without four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews,
who broke his right thumb against the Lions and will be lost for a
He will be replaced
by Mike Neal, with help from Nick Perry.
the same defense," Harbaugh said. "They'll put a very good
player over there. He's a young guy. He's a physical rusher off the
edge. I'm sure he patterns himself a little bit after what Clay
MONROE DEBUT?: The Ravens hope to have star receiver and kick
returner Jacoby Jones back following a four-week absence with a knee
injury. Jones has been practicing the past two weeks, but his status
for Sunday likely will be a game-time decision.
Also, left tackle
Eugene Monroe should be ready to go after coming to Baltimore last
week from Jacksonville. He will replace Bryant McKinnie, whose
production has been spotty this year.
LONG BALL: Rodgers
threw his 12th career touchdown pass of at least 70 yards last week,
most in the league since the start of the 2008 season.
"We've got to
make sure we get their receivers on the ground and don't allow those
big runs after the catch," Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith said.
Flacco, with the
speedy Jones and Torrey Smith as targets, has five completions of
more than 40 yards.