Ravens, Colts too one-dimensional

The Ravens and Colts have to correct their problems on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, respectively.

Updated: December 1, 2004, 11:53 AM ET
By Merril Hoge | ESPN Insider
Editor's Note -- ESPN analyst Merril Hoge took a look at the game film to try to help the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are one-dimensional squads that are close to either a playoff berth or Super Bowl contention. Here's a look at their strengths and weaknesses and what they can do to shore up their weaknesses.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have a terrific defense that will always keep them in games. This is a stellar defense led by linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed. They play extremely physical defense and intimidate opposing teams from the opening kickoff to the final seconds of the game.

In addition to the physical nature of the defense, they also scheme extremely well. The coaching staff has done a great job keeping offenses off balance with different schemes, while keeping his players in positions of strength.

Offensively, this team has a strong running game that is difficult to stop. The Ravens have a very physical offensive line that blocks extremely well for stud running back Jamal Lewis. This running game does a great job dictating the pace for the offense and keeps the defense off the field, which helps the defense out a lot.

Former NFL fullback Merril Hoge is an analyst for a wide variety of NFL programs on television and ESPN Radio. An eight-year NFL veteran, Hoge spent 1987-93 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and joined ESPN in 1996.