Matchup To Watch

Ravens LB Adalius Thomas and LB/DE Terrell Suggs vs. Browns TE Aaron Shea


October 16, 2005

George Kokinis, the Ravens' pro personnel director, sizes up the top matchup against the Browns:

The players

Thomas and Suggs were defensive ends in college who have learned to play in coverage in the NFL. Thomas, a Pro Bowl special teams player in 2003, is fourth on the team with 22 tackles and has broken up one pass. Suggs, a Pro Bowl player last season, made his second career interception last Sunday.

After being inactive for the first three games this season with a shoulder injury, Shea returned last Sunday to make six catches for 65 yards, including a 27-yard reception. Four of his six catches produced first downs. He has 85 receptions in six injury-marred seasons. Shea was selected in the fourth round of the 2000 draft out of Michigan.

What to watch

Shea is deceptive as far as speed and route running is concerned. The Browns have confidence in him, not only in moving the chains on third downs but also running down the seam. Teams in the past have caught that route against the Ravens, whether it's a double move or straight down the middle. Obviously, the Browns do their homework, so that's something the Ravens have to be concerned about.

When Thomas made the transition to linebacker, there were concerns about his ability to cover. Now, he's probably one of the Ravens' best cover guys. Suggs looks comfortable this year. His run-pass recognition is really good. For a big, strong guy, he can break out into the flat or turn his hips and run up the seam. Both have made that transition pretty easily.

Game facts


Vs. spread -- Browns 3-1, Ravens 1-3.

Series -- Ravens lead 8-4.

Last meeting -- Ravens won, 27-13, on Nov. 7, 2004, at Baltimore.

NFL rankings

Ravens offense -- No. 25 (rush No. 22, pass No. 16)

Browns defense -- No. 28 (rush No. 30, pass No. 24)

Browns offense -- No. 16 (rush No. 29, pass No. 9)

Ravens defense -- No. 2 (rush No. 9, pass No. 4)

Ravens injuries

Out -- QB Kyle Boller (toe); DE Tony Weaver (toe).

Questionable -- FB Alan Ricard (calf).

Probable -- TE Todd Heap (knee); CB Samari Rolle (neck); DE Terrell Suggs (back); RB Chester Taylor (shoulder); DT Dwan Edwards (neck); DT Maake Kemoeatu (knee).

Browns injuries

Out -- WR Braylon Edwards (arm); RB Lee Suggs (thumb).

Quick hits

Ravens -- The offense has committed an AFC-high 12 turnovers.

Browns -- In seven possessions inside the red zone, the offense has one TD and six field goals.

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