Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, two cities with a friendly rivalry, are separated by 35 miles.
On Sunday night, the two cities were also separated by 14 points, as the Redskins lost to the Ravens 24-10 at M&T Bank Stadium.
The loss dropped Washinigton to 7-6 on the season. It was the Redskins' fourth loss in their last five games.
The Redskins remain in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, but it appears a once-promising season is starting to slip away.
Both the Redskins and Ravens boast top defenses, so it was no surprise that offenses struggled in the windy conditions at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Redskins did not protect the ball well in the early going, as two Redskins turnovers in the first five minutes of the game led to a pair of Ravens touchdowns.
Jason Campbell, who has faced increased scrutiny the last few weeks, had another up-and-down performance, completing 21-of-38 passes for 218 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Clinton Portis, questionable for the game due to knee and neck injuries, started for the Redskins and rushed for 32 yards on 11 carries. Portis was replaced by Ladell Betts for most of the second half, though.
It also didn't help that Chris Samuels left the game with a season-ending triceps injury in the fourth quarter, just as the Redskins were launching a comeback attempt.
Despite little help from the offense, the Redskins' defense was solid most of the night.
London Fletcher led the way with 10 tackles and LaRon Landry had a strong game with an interception and a forced fumble.
But in the fourth quarter, the defense allowed the Ravens to seal the game with a long touchdown drive that included 11 running plays and consumed nearly eight minutes off the clock.
The game began in cold conditions, with a kickoff temperature of 26 degrees. Winds gusted at upwards of 17 miles per hours.
Three plays into the game, the Redskins made their first critical mistake.
Campbell dropped back to pass and linebacker Terrell Suggs sped around Samuels to tip Campbell's deep pass to Santana Moss.
The ball fluttered downfield and safety Ed Reed made a diving interception at the Ravens' 45-yard line.
Baltimore wasted no time moving downfield.
Quarterback Joe Flacco's first pass was a 26-yarder across the middle to wide receiver Derrick Mason, who had found an opening in the Redskins' zone defense.
On a key 3rd-and-10 play, the Ravens fooled the Redskins as Flacco handed off to rookie running back Ray Rice. He broke through the line for a 21-yard pickup.
Next play, fullback Le'Ron McClain raced through a huge hole to the left for an 8-yard touchdown run, giving Baltimore an early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, the Redskins began a drive at their own 11-yard line.
Portis found a hole behind Randy Thomas and picked up 11 yards. But as Portis was tackled to the ground by safety Jim Leonhard, Reed poked the ball loose.
Reed quickly scooped up the fumble and found open space to the right. He picked up a blocker and ran into the end zone for a 22-yard return for a touchdown.
The Redskins were in an early hole, down 14-0 just six minutes into the game.
Last time that happened, it was Week 5 in Philadelphia. The Redskins regrouped and won that game 23-17. Could they do it again?
Early returns were not encouraging.
After picking up a pair of first downs on the ensuing drive, the Redskins faced a 3rd-and-14. Campbell dropped back, but he was quickly pressured by a blitzing Leonhard.
Linebacker Ray Lewis slipped a block by Mike Sellers and sacked Campbell for a 13-yard loss.
Midway through the second quarter, Campbell guided the offense into field goal range, thanks to a 17-yard pass to Antwaan Randle El.
Shaun Suisham came on for a 48-yard attempt, difficult in the windy conditions. The kick sailed wide right. No good.
Neither offense could generate much momentum the rest of the first half.
In the third quarter, the Ravens' offense opted to take a chance by going for it on 4th-and-1 at the Redskins' 43-yard line.
Flacco dropped back to pass and rolled right. He threw across field to tight end Todd Heap, who was wide open. Heap picked up 24 yards before he was tackled by DeAngelo Hall.
The big play set up a 32-yard field goal by Matt Stover, extending the Ravens' lead to 17-0.
As the game approached the final quarter, the Redskins' defense stepped up with a big play of their own.
Landry made a diving interception of a Flacco pass, setting up the Redskins at the Ravens' 26-yard line.
The offense picked up a first down to get closer, but then Samuels injured his triceps and was replaced by third-year lineman Justin Geisinger.
Two plays later, Suggs burst past Geisinger for a 13-yard sack of Campbell.
The Redskins had to settle for a field goal. Suisham connected on a 43-yard field goal for the Redskins' first points of the game.
The Redskins forced another turnover on the Ravens' next drive--and it was Landry who was right in the middle of it again.
Landry leveled a hart hit on running back Willis McGahee, and the ball popped loose. Hall scooped up the fumble and ran 13 yards to the Ravens' 30-yard line.
Campbell quickly found Betts down the left sideline for a 23-yard pass completion to the 7-yard line.
Three plays later, the Redskins' offense was faced with a 4th-and-goal at the 5-yard line.
Campbell threw to Randle El, who leaped high above cornerback Fabian Washington at the goal line to make a remarkable 5-yard touchdown catch.
The score was 17-10, and the Redskins were suddenly back in the game with 11:27 left.
Baltimore turned to the running game and McClain on the ensuing drive.
In all, the Ravens ran the ball 11 consecutive times, converting four first downs, to get the ball to the Redskins' 28-yard line.
On 3rd-and-5, and Flacco dropped back to pass. On the right sideline, Mason ran a stop-and-go, and Carlos Rogers jumped the route.
Mason found himself wide open near the goal line. Flacco's throw was high, allowing Rogers time to catch up, but Mason fought him off to pull in the 28-yard touchdown pass.
Down 24-10,the Redskins' offense kept firing in the Baltimore cold, but it was desperation time.
Campbell was intercepted by Reed again, sealing the win for the Ravens.
The Redskins travel north--about 35 miles--to Baltimore to take on the Ravens on Sunday, Dec. 7 at M&T Bank Stadium. Kickoff is 8:15 p.m. ET.
The game was flexed to Sunday night as part of the NFL's flexible scheduling.
Washington has not played a regular season game in Baltimore since 1978, when the Redskins lost to the Colts 21-17 at Memorial Stadium.
M&T Bank Stadium, which opened in 1998, has an artificial surface called SportExe Momentum Turf. It seats 71,008.
Sunday night's matchup is the first of two road games against AFC North opponents. After the Ravens, the Redskins travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals.
The Redskins are 1-1 in AFC North play. They defeated the Cleveland Browns 14-10 in Week 7 and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-6 in Week 9.
The Redskins have won four consecutive road games and are 4-1 away from FedExField. Their only loss on the road was Week 1 to the New York Giants.
In the last five years, the Redskins are 2-8 in AFC road games.
The Redskins-Ravens game will be televised on NBC. Al Michaels does the play-by-play with color commentary by John Madden. Andrea Kremer serves as sideline reporters.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on ESPN 980. Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary by Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. Rick "Doc" Walker serves as sideline reporter.
The game will be also be broadcast nationally on the Westwood One Radio Network. Dave Sims does the play-by-play with color commentary by Jim Fassel.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||89 Mark Clayton|
|LT||60 Chris Samuels||71 Jared Gaither|
|LG||66 Pete Kendall||66 Ben Grubbs|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||60 Jason Brown|
|RG||77 Randy Thomas||65 Chris Chester|
|RT||76 Jon Jansen||79 Willie Anderson|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||86 Todd Heap|
|WR||82 Antwaan Randle El||85 Derrick Mason|
|QB||17 Jason Campbell||5 Joe Flacco|
|FB||45 Mike Sellers||33 Le'Ron McClain|
|RB||26 Clinton Portis||23 Willis McGahee|
|DE||99 Andre Carter||90 Trevor Pryce|
|DT||96 Cornelius Griffin||92 Haloti Ngata|
|DT||64 Kedric Golston||94 Justin Bannan|
|DE/LB||55 Jason Taylor||95 Jarret Johnson|
|SLB||54 H.B. Blades||52 Ray Lewis|
|MLB||59 London Fletcher||57 Bart Scott|
|WLB||52 Rocky McIntosh||55 Terrell Suggs|
|LCB||27 Fred Smoot||31 F. Washington|
|RCB||22 Carlos Rogers||22 Samari Rolle|
|SS||48 Chris Horton||36 Jim Leonhard|
|FS||30 LaRon Landry||20 Ed Reed|
|P||1 Ryan Plackemeier||4 Sam Koch|
|K||6 Shaun Suisham||3 Matt Stover|
|H||1 Ryan Plackemeier||4 Sam Koch|
|LS||67 Ethan Albright||79 Matt Katula|
|KOR||31 Rock Cartwright||16 Yamon Figurs|
|PR||82 Antwaan Randle El||16 Yamon Figurs|
The Redskins and Ravens have played three times in the regular season, with the Ravens holding a 2-1 series lead.
The last time the two clubs played in the regular season was 2004, when the Ravens defeated the Redskins 17-10 at FedExField.
In that game, the Redskins jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Ravens safety Ed Reed stripped quarterback Mark Brunell of the ball on a blitz, recovered the fumble and raced 22 yards for a touchdown.
Then Ravens kick returner B.J. Sams returned a punt 78 yards for another touchdown in what proved to be the game-winning points.
The Redskins and Baltimore Ravens have played four times in the preseason, with the Ravens holding a 3-1 edge.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|REDSKINS 2008 RANKINGS|
|RAVENS 2008 RANKINGS|
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE RAVENS
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was the quarterbacks coach for the Redskins from 1994-96. He helped develop the skills of quarterbacks Trent Green and Gus Frerotte during his tenure in Washington.
Quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson was with the Redskins from 2001-03, serving as running backs coach from 2001-02 and offensive coordinator-running backs coach in 2003.
Secondary coach Mark Carrier played defensive back for the Redskins in 2000.
Assistant strength and conditioning coach John "Mother" Dunn served as head strength and conditioning coach for the Redskins from 2004-05.
Director of college scouting Eric DeCosta had his first NFL experience with a 1995 internship with the Redskins' player personnel department.
REDSKINS-RAVENS NEWS & NOTES
-- Zorn's First Season As Head Coach
Jim Zorn is 7-5 in his first 12 games as Redskins head coach. He is aiming to lead the Redskins to their third winning season in the last four years.
Zorn is looking to become the seventh Redskins head coach to record a winning record in his first year at the helm.
The list of first-year head coaches with winning records includes Ray Flaherty (7-5 in 1936), Dutch Bergman (6-3-1 in 1943), Dudley DeGroot (6-3-1 in 1944), Dick Todd (5-4 in 1951), Vince Lombardi (7-5-2 in 1969) and George Allen (9-4-1 in 1971).
Seven first-year head coaches finished their rookie campaign with a .500 mark, while 12 finished with a losing record.
The Ravens also entered the season with a first-year head coach in John Harbaugh.
Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to an 8-4 mark.
Harbaugh made a point to telephone Zorn congratulating him after his first NFL win when the Redskins defeated the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.
-- Running Teams
Both the Redskins and Ravens enter Sunday's contest as two of the best running teams in the NFL.
Washington's 139.4 rushing yards per game ranks fifth in the NFL behind the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Ravens and Minnesota Vikings.
Clinton Portis leads the Redskins' ground attack with 1,228 yards, second-best in the NFL behind the Vikings' Adrian Peterson.
The unit gets stronger as the game goes on.
The Redskins' 476 rushing yards in the fourth quarter are the second-most in the league this season and their 27 fourth quarter touchdowns are third-best in the league.
Portis has been a majer factor in closing out games. His 21 fourth quarter first downs via the ground is a league high.
-- Rabach Returns to Baltimore
Casey Rabach got his start in Baltimore, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
In 2004, the year before he signed with the Redskins, Rabach started 15 games at center and one at left guard for the Ravens. The 6-1, 305-pounder paved the way for Jamal Lewis's third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season and helped the Ravens' offense compile more than 2,000 rushing yards on the season.
At the time, the Ravens were committed to Mike Flynn as their long-term answer at center, though.
"I knew the day was coming when I would leave," Rabach said after signing with the Redsins. "[The Ravens] had their starting center up there and they made that clear when they signed Mike back. There are no ill feelings toward them. It was just time to move on.
"What a great feeling it was to come down here to Washington. Everything kind of fell into place."
Since joining the Redskins, Rabach has missed just one game. He has helped solidify a veteran offensive line.
Flynn has since moved on from the Ravens. He was with New England in preseason earlier this year.
-- Randle El and Cam Cameron
From 1997-2001, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was head coach at Indiana University. He recruited and developed then-quarterback Antwaan Randle El, now a Redskins wide receiver.
"Antwaan was a great high school football quarterback," Cameron said in a 2007 interview when he was head coach of the Miami Dolphins. "Some people just didn't want to take a chance on him [at quarterback], but we knew he was a quarterback."
Added Randle El: "Cam gave me an opportunity. He was a coach, and then after that he was more of a friend. Not many college teams were willing to let me play quarterback. He was the only one who I felt I could truly trust would allow me to play quarterback."
-- Landry Brothers
The Landry brothers--LaRon and Dawan--had hoped to play together in an NFL regular season game for the first time on Sunday. But Dawan suffered a neck injury earlier this season. He was eventually placed on injured reserve.
LaRon was the Redskins' first-round draft pick in 2007. Dawan Landry was the Ravens' fifth-round draft pick in 2006.
This season, his second as a starter in the Redskins' secondary, LaRon has recorded 58 tackles, a half-sack, one interception and eight passes defended.
-- Kid In the Hall
The Redskins acquired DeAngelo Hall on Nov. 8 and he has immediately paid dividends. He has two interceptions in his first three games as a Redskin.
His first came in his Redskins debut on Nov. 16 when he picked off Dallas's Tony Romo. His second came on Nov. 30 when he picked off New York Giants' Eli Manning.
Hall is tied for second in the NFL with five interceptions, trailing only Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu, who has six.
Hall collected his first three interceptions this season as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
-- Too Cool
Chris Cooley caught his second NFL touchdown, a 7-yarder from Mark Brunell, the last time the Redskins and Ravens played in a regular season game. That was on Oct. 10, 2004.
This season, Cooley has continued a streak by catching a pass in 68 consecutive contests dating back to Week 9 of the 2004 season.
A Pro Bowl selection in 2007, Cooley is second among NFL tight ends with 66 catches, trailing only Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez, who has 73.
Cooley's 701 receiving yards are third among NFL tight ends behind Gonzalez (806) and Dallas's Jason Witten (709).
With Cooley and Santana Moss, the Redskins are one of five teams to have two of the top 22 pass catchers in the NFL. Cooley is ranked ninth and Moss is ranked 21st. (Moss has 57 receptions this year.)
-- Maryland Connection
Rookie left tackles Stephon Heyer for the Redskins and Jared Gaither of the Ravens were teammates at the University of Maryland from 2004-06.
Heyer joined Washington as an undrafted rookie and started three games at right tackle earlier this season,
Gaither joined the Redskins as a fifth-round selection in the NFL's Supplemental Draft in 2007. He has started 11-of-12 games at left tackle for the Ravens this season.
-- Fletcher Reaches Century Mark
London Fletcher has compiled 106 tackles so far this season. It is the 10th consecutive season that he has reached 100 or more tackles in a season.
Fletcher has started 131 consecutive games, the sixth-longest streak among active players.
His 106 tackles ranked him sixth in the NFL and third in the NFC.
-- Redskins Captains
The Redskins have elected six players as captains for the 2008 season. They wear a black "C" on their jersey during games.
On offense, Jason Campbell amd Chris Samuels are the captains.
On defense, Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher are the captains.
On special teams, Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell are the captains.
-- What's Next?
Washington travels to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
It's the Redskins' first visit to Cincinnati since the 2006 preseason.
The last time the Redskins played in Cincinnati in the regular season was in 1991.