Matchups To Watch

Ravens Weekend

October 12, 2007|By MIKE PRESTON

WILLIS MCGAHEE RAVENS RB HT: 6-0 WT: 232 YEAR: 5

WILL WITHERSPOON RAMS LB HT: 6-1 WT: 240 YEAR: 6

Witherspoon is underrated. He doesn't fit the prototype of middle linebackers, but he leads the Rams in tackles with 37. He has great instincts for the ball, and is solid as far as shedding potential blockers and then looking for the ball. McGahee continues to get better every game. He is much stronger than he looks and usually gets yards even when there is no hole. His cutback style should give the Rams some problems. EDGE: EVEN

HALOTI NGATA RAVENS DT HT: 6-4 WT: 340 YEAR: 2

RICHIE INCOGNITO RAMS G HT: 6-3 WT: 330 YEAR: 3

At right guard, Incognito could be the weak link the Ravens exploit to allow them to control St. Louis' rushing attack and dominate the game. Incognito jumped offside several times last week, and he'll struggle with Ngata, who is a major key for the Ravens' defense. If he shuts down the run inside, it forces the Rams to run outside, and the Ravens have great speed on the perimeter. Ngata also is good at occupying two blockers and keeping them off middle linebacker Ray Lewis. EDGE: NGATA

MARSHAL YANDA RAVENS OT HT: 6-3 WT: 310 YEAR: R

LEONARD LITTLE RAMS DE HT: 6-3 WT: 263 YEAR: 10

Little can be a beast, as he can play with power or finesse. He has 16 tackles this season but no sacks. Every team is aware of where he lines up on the field, and he has a good motor. Yanda will struggle, especially in pass protection. He has short arms, and he can't always get his hands on speed rushers. Look for the Ravens to give Yanda help with either with a running back or tight end chipping on Little in pass protection. EDGE: LITTLE

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