Today's Matchups To Watch

January 04, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON

Ravens LT Jared Gaither vs. Dolphins LB Joey Porter

Porter is having a great season and is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He has 17 1/2 sacks and caused a lot of trouble for the Ravens earlier this season. He has no love for the Ravens. He is extremely fast and relentless in pursuing quarterbacks. Gaither is young and strong, and his best years are ahead of him. But he is not quick enough to handle Porter alone. He also needs to keep Porter out of his head. Porter talks the entire game.

Edge: Porter:

Ravens RT Willie Anderson vs. Dolphins LB Matt Roth

Roth is big and dominating. He usually draws mismatches with running backs or tight ends, but look for the Ravens to have Anderson stepping out on him today to slow Roth down. Roth uses many power moves, especially the bull rush. Anderson isn't as fast as he used to be, but he still has enough power to keep Roth off quarterback Joe Flacco. The key will be Anderson staying healthy for the entire game.

Edge: Anderson:

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Dolphins CB Andre' Goodman

Goodman leads the Dolphins with five interceptions. He has enough physical ability to press up on Mason, but Mason is superb at getting off press coverage at the line of scrimmage because he has quick feet. The Dolphins will try to take Mason out of the game because he is Flacco's go-to receiver, but Mason is great at finding holes in defenses, especially if Miami plays zone. If Goodman is the Dolphins' best, then they don't have an answer for Mason.

Edge: Mason:

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