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Redskins, Ravens Are August Acquaintances

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For the third consecutive year, the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens will play a scrimmage, this time at M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 4.

And for the fourth time in five years, they will play a preseason game. The preseason game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25. Kickoff is 8 p.m. ET.

The Ravens are coming off a strong 2006 season which ended with a 13-3 record and the AFC North division title. In the playoffs, they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts 15-6.

The Redskins-Ravens contests should give the Redskins a feel for how their revamped defense plays against the run. The Ravens now feature new top-rated running back Willis McGahee.

Baltimore lost leading rusher Jamal Lewis, who had another 1,000-yard season, to Cleveland. But the team hopes to fill the void with McGahee, acquired from Buffalo in a trade this offseason.

McGahee certainly has connections on the Redskins. He played with Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Sean Taylor and Rocky McIntosh at the University of Miami.

Baltimore's offseason also saw the departure of Adalius Thomas to the New England Patriots. He's replaced by Jarret Johnson, a fifth-year player.

Even though they lost Thomas, they still have one of the strongest linebacker corps in the league headed up by Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.

The Ravens topped the NFL in total defense last year, allowing only 264 yards per game. They also were first in the league in interceptions (28) and turnover margin with plus-17.

The Redskins' offense should be tested and third-year quarterback Jason Campbell should gain valuable experience against a tough Ravens defense.

Campbell, by the way, has a close friendship with Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. They both grew up in small towns in Mississippi.

Baltimore and Washington have two of the premiere tight ends in the NFL with Chris Cooley and Todd Heap. Both players amassed more than 700 yards receiving and both hauled in six touchdowns last year.

The Redskins-Ravens pairing also features two of the best safeties in the league in Sean Taylor and Ed Reed. The two played together on the 2001 Miami Hurricanes championship team when Taylor was a freshman and Reed a senior.

Since Joe Gibbs rejoined the team as head coach in 2004, the Redskins have played Baltimore once in the regular season.

They lost 17-10 three years ago at FedExField when Reed came on a blitz, stripped Mark Brunell and returned the fumble 22 yards for a touchdown to give the Ravens the lead in the third quarter.

In one of the best games ever staged at FedExField, Baltimore and the Redskins squared off on Oct. 15, 2000. Washington won an outstanding defensive matchup 10-3.

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