Matchups To Watch

Ravens Weekend

September 28, 2007|By MIKE PRESTON

RAY LEWIS, RAVENS LB HT: 6-1 WT: 250 YEAR: 12

JAMAL LEWIS, BROWNS RB HT: 5-11 WT: 230 YEAR: 8

This is the best matchup of the game. Both players have struggled the past two seasons, but both are playing well in 2007. Jamal Lewis wants to prove he is still one of the best running backs in the league. He's in great shape and his acceleration is back. Jamal Lewis is the third-leading rusher in the league with 307 yards on 53 carries. Ray Lewis, as usual, leads the Ravens in tackles with 31. He has a history of outplaying some of the game's top runners, including Eddie George and Jerome Bettis. EDGE: EVEN

MIKE FLYNN RAVENS C HT: 6-3 WT: 305 YEAR: 10

TED WASHINGTON BROWNS NT HT: 6-5 WT: 375 YEAR: 17

At 375 pounds, Washington is a load. When he is on his game, he can't be moved and can dominate inside by taking on two blockers. Washington has decent quickness for a man of his size and great upper-body strength. He'll come off the field in passing situations. Flynn is a veteran who knows a lot of tricks. He is probably a better pass blocker than run blocker and has struggled with big nose guards. The key for Flynn is to get into Washington's body early and then try to hold ground. Look for the Ravens to give him help with double teams. EDGE: WASHINGTON

BRAYLON EDWARDS BROWNS WR HT: 6-3 WT: 215 YEAR: 3

CHRIS McALISTER RAVENS CB HT: 6-1 WT: 206 YEAR: 9

The size alone gives a lot of cornerbacks trouble, but Edwards also has speed. He is second on the Browns in receptions with 15 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Cleveland likes to isolate him one-on-one with small cornerbacks. McAlister has played well the past three seasons, and opponents are going away from him. But the Browns will challenge him with Edwards because he is their top receiver on the outside. Edwards won't be able to push McAlister around or outrun him. Edwards will have to step it up to win this matchup. EDGE: McALISTER

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