Matchup to watch

Ravens vs. Jaguars

November 13, 2005

Ravens TE Todd Heap vs. Jaguars LBs Akin Ayodele and Daryl Smith

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

The players

Heap became the Ravens' all-time leading receiver last Sunday with his 205th catch. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he has 37 receptions this year, which puts him on pace for a career-best season. Heap missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury. He was drafted with the 31st pick in the 2001 first round. Ayodele, who is in his third year as a starter, ranks fourth on the Jaguars in tackles after being second the previous two seasons. He has three career interceptions and six forced fumbles. Smith started immediately after being Jacksonville's second-round pick in the 2004 draft. He is second on the team with 58 tackles and has two sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles.

What to watch

Ayodele will line up against Heap on running downs, and Smith will be over him in passing situations. Each will play Heap a little differently. Ayodele is a stronger and thicker player who will try to jam Heap at the line. Smith is faster and will run with Heap.

Heap has been coming along. He had two surgeries (shoulder and ankle) in the offseason and couldn't do what you need to prepare to play in this league. He has worked himself back to that level. Heap has enough agility and speed to be a mismatch problem for defenses.

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