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Ravens Team Report: Blake's job to lose

Baltimore Ravens Week 14 Team Report

(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Ravens picked up a 27-23 victory over the lowly Cincinnati Bengals last week. QB Jeff Blake finished 10-of-19 passing for 115 yards and threw two TD passes, including a 22-yarder to Todd Heap with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter.

"It's a lot easier to get up for a game against Pittsburgh than it is against a team like the Bengals," Blake said. "You try not to play at their level. You want to play at a higher level, but it's very difficult."

Ravens head coach Brian Billick has decided to keep Blake at the quarterback position for the final four games of the season, even though the original starter, Chris Redman, has recovered from his back injury.

"Right now, given our situation, 6-6 and battling for playoff spot, Jeff Blake is our starting quarterback and will remain that way," Billick said. "I don't know that Jeff has done anything to deserve being replaced.

"The other factor I have to keep in mind is when Chris comes in, there's going to be some rust in there. I don't think that's fair to put this team in that situation. As long as this team is clearly part of the playoff picture, I can't imagine that situation changing."

Blake hasn't played well as of late, but the team has won two straight. In those two games, Blake has completed 49 percent of his throws for a total of 224 yards.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Redman said. "I think I can go out there and compete. But I'll do what's best for the team. If that's going out there and being the backup, I'll be the backup. There's nothing I can do about it. I'm disappointed because I thought we were headed in the right direction."


While the Ravens' passing game has been inconsistent all season, averaging just 157.2 yards per game (31st in NFL), the running game has done a good job. Jamal Lewis, who is coming off an ACL tear, has already rushed for 1,044 yards this year, and has been the one of the only weapons on a very weak offense.

"I'd shudder to think where we would be without him," offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said of Lewis. "Obviously, we're not tearing it up in the passing game. He's given us at least one part of our offense that we can count on.

"This is crunch time. We want the ball to be in the hands of the people we've got the most faith in and he's certainly one of them. He's our star."

The Saints' defense, which allows an average of 117.2 yards per game (16th in NFL) must find a way to contain Lewis. Last week, New Orleans did a good job of denying the Buccaneers rushing yards, as it yielded just 34 yards on the ground.

COMING UP: The Ravens will visit the Houston Texans in Week 15.

12/06 16:34:09 ET

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