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McFadden, Goodson inactive for Raiders vs Ravens

McFadden, Goodson inactive for Raiders vs Ravens

BALTIMORE (AP) Injured running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson have been placed on the inactive list by the Oakland Raiders for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

McFadden and Goodson rank 1-2 on the team's rushing list. Both have sprained right ankles, leaving Taiwan Jones - who has one carry for 2 yards this year - as the likely starter.

Oakland also put defensive tackle Richard Seymour (leg) on the inactive list, along with backup offensive tackle Khalif Barnes (groin), guard Lucas Nix and defensive end Jack Crawford.

Baltimore's inactives included defensive end Pernell McPhee (thigh), offensive lineman Ramon Harewood and safety Christian Thompson.

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Ravens coordinator Dean Pees knows defense and Patriots very well

Ravens coordinator Dean Pees knows defense and Patriots very well

OWINGS MILLS – After spending six seasons (2004-09) on Bill Belichick’s staff, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees admits facing the Patriots is a little personal.

“It’s kind of like playing against your brother in golf,” said Pees, as the Ravens prepared to visit the Patriots on Monday Night Football. “Sometimes you want to beat your friend and your family more than you want to beat somebody you don’t know.”

Pees knows Belichick and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady very well. Does that knowledge give the Ravens an edge in matchups against the Patriots?

“None, zero,” Pees said. “Their playbook is so big and massive on offense. They just have a lot of stuff, and they utilize it to the best of their ability. That’s what I know about them. The only advantage I have is just knowing that they have a lot of stuff, and they can do a lot of things. That’s the advantage I have, if that’s an advantage.”

However, Pees’ ability as a coordinator should not be overlooked. The Ravens have the NFL’s top-ranked defense, yielding just 296.1 yards per game. Ravens players trust that the 67-year-old Pees will put them in the best positions to make plays.

“He’s been coaching longer than my oldest brothers have been alive,” Smith said. “I don’t think there’s a play he hasn’t seen, or a formation. The thing I’ve always admired about coach Pees is he covers everything. Even the things that you’re like, ‘What if?’ He’s already thought about that what if.”

Pees hopes he can devise a game plan that will thwart Brady on Monday. The Patriots (10-2) won’t have tight end Rob Gronkowski (season-ending back surgery), and they may not have wide receiver Danny Amendola (ankle), yet Pees expects a difficult challenge.

“There’s nobody that does a better job with personnel than the Patriots,” Pees said. “They’ll be ready.”

MORE RAVENS: Allen struggling to accept shooting death of friend McKnight

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Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Some say Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. Some say he isn't.

Former Patriots center Dan Koppen clearly sides with the second option.

In a segment on CSN New England's "Sports Tonight," Koppen said he doesn't think Flacco is much of a threat throwing the ball. 

He was asked if Flacco was going to be a reason the Ravens win or a reason they lose to the Patriots. 

"Well, if you look at his last performance, he could be a reason that they win, but over the course of his career, he's not a guy that strikes fear in your heart," Koppen said.

Koppen also said Flacco wouldn't have been this successful without his teammates' help.

"Some Patriots fans have seen this team come in and win, but I believe it's more about the players around him than Joe Flacco himself. ... He's not a guy that elevates the players around him. He needs a good running game, he needs a line, he needs those receivers, and he's also had a strong defense his whole career."

The only way to tell if this is a valid criticism would be to take all the players around Joe Flacco and replace them with average players, and that isn't going to happen. 

For now, the Ravens are winning and in first place in the AFC North, and fans should enjoy that.

MORE: Flacco named FedEx Air Player of the Week