Key Matchups

November 22, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON

Colts DE Robert Mathis vs. Ravens RT Michael Oher

Oher has had a good rookie season but seems to be struggling a bit lately. He has exceptionally quick feet but needs to work on his hands and arms to keep opposing linemen away from his body. Mathis (98) is a speed rusher but will bull-rush occasionally. Because many teams pay attention to fellow end Dwight Freeney, Mathis gets more one-on-one blocking, and he thrives in those situations. Edge: Mathis:

Colts DE Dwight Freeney vs. Ravens LT Jared Gaither

Gaither has to bring his "A" game and improve in his technique to have a chance against Freeney, above. Gaither also has to punish Freeney when the Ravens run the ball at him. Freeney is small by end standards but is strong and powerful. He and Mathis can get low and work underneath most tackles. Freeney has the best spin move in the NFL, and when he does a double spin move, he looks like the Tasmanian Devil. The Ravens will have to double-team Freeney a lot. Edge: Freeney:

Colts TE Dallas Clark vs. Ravens safeties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry

The Ravens can't allow Clark to work the middle of the field. The Ravens don't have any linebackers who can cover him one-on-one, so they might have to give the assignment to Landry, above, or Reed. Reed is cagey enough to handle Clark and quarterback Peyton Manning, but Clark will give Landry problems. Edge: Even:

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