Matchup To Watch

Ravens Vs. Bengals

November 27, 2005

Ravens DE Tony Weaver vs. Bengals OT Willie Anderson

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

The players

Weaver has been a starter for the Ravens since being drafted in the second round in 2002. In his previous three seasons, he has averaged 63 tackles and four sacks. Weaver has 18 tackles the past three games after being sidelined four weeks with a toe injury.

Anderson was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press last season, the first Bengal to receive that honor since 1996. A 10-year veteran, he has been the anchor of the line, starting 90 straight games. In 10 games this season, Anderson has allowed 2 1/2 sacks.

What to watch

Weaver is coming off a toe injury, and Anderson is battling through a knee injury. As a player gets through injury and feels fresh again, then his true talent comes out. You saw that last Sunday from Weaver, who had his best game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (eight tackles and two sacks).

Weaver's explosiveness with his hands is the most impressive part of his game, allowing him to get off blockers. When you have that, you can be effective as a defensive lineman against the run as well as the pass.

Anderson has big hands and uses them to take defensive players wide. He also has the feet to get outside against the speed rush.

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