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5 things to know about Ravens-Falcons matchup

The Falcons (4-7) are the 11th seeded team in the NFC playoff race and are in a must-win situation against the Ravens (6-5) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Falcons need a win to keep their long shot playoff hopes alive. The Ravens have won two in a row behind rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.

This will be the sixth regular-season meeting between the Falcons and Ravens. The Ravens lead the series 3-2. 

Here are five stats that set up the matchup:

1. Unique run challenge: The Falcons’ run defense has fallen. They’ve given up 221, 132 and 150 yards over a current three-game losing streak. The Ravens like to run the ball and have a running quarterback in Jackson. The Falcons’ unit  will face another unique run-stuffing challenge.

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In addition to Jackson, who ran 26 times for 118 yards in a win over the Bengals and 11 times for 77 yards in a win over the Raiders, the Ravens have rookie running back Gus Edwards.

An undrafted rookie out of Rutgers and Miami, Edwards rushed 23 times for 118 yards against the Raiders to become the first Ravens back since Jamal Lewis in 2000 to have back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.

Over the three-game losing streak, Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran for 176 yards against the Falcons. Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 122 and the Saints combination of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined to rush for 141 yards.

2. Ravens have top-ranked defense: The Ravens, led by the legendary Terrell Suggs, are ranked No. 1 in points allowed at 18 per game and in yards allowed with 295.4. per game.

They are second in passing yards allowed at 203.3 and third in rushing yards allowed with 92.1 yards per game. 

3. Ridley likes the end zone: Falcons rookie wide receiver caught his eighth touchdown pass against the Saints, which tied him with Julio Jones for most receiving touchdowns by a rookie wide receiver in franchise history.

The team record of nine is held by tight end Junior Miller, who was the seventh player taken overall in the 1980 draft.  

4. Jones keeps rolling: Jones had 11 catches for 147 yards against the Saints to post his sixth consecutive 100-yard game. It was his eighth overall 100-yard receiving game this season. 

5. Kazee lurking: Falcons free safety Damontae Kazee leads the NFL with six interceptions.

Jackson, who doesn’t have a reputation for being an accurate passer, has a 2-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio over 56 pass attempts this season. 

Kazee is the first Falcon to have at least six interceptions since free safety Thomas DeCoud during his Pro Bowl season of 2012. 

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