Matchups To Watch: Flacco vs. Polamalu

Quarterback Joe Flacco and safety Troy Polamalu have a bit of history that must be avoided.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, December 4th, 2010 at 11:29 am | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 13 vs Steelers
  • QB Joe Flacco vs. S Troy Polamalu
    Like Ed Reed, Polamalu has phenomenal instincts. He’s got a bit of history with Flacco too, returning an interception for a touchdown against the Ravens’ signal-caller in the 2008 AFC Championship. In Flacco’s four career losses versus Pittsburgh, he’s thrown six picks. In his two wins, he’s thrown one. Taking care of the ball will be paramount, and a large part of that boils down to knowing where the crazy-haired Samoan (four interceptions) is lurking.”He shows up everywhere,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said of Polamalu. “When it’s a critical situation, like last week [versus Buffalo], he came up with the interception.”
  • OLB Terrell Suggs vs. QB Ben Roethlisberger
    Nobody has Ben Roethlisberger’s number like T-Sizzle, who has sacked him an NFL-high eight times. Big Ben is a handful to get down though, and has a history of shaking off sackers – even when playing injured. Suggs could be the playmaker Baltimore needs up front with a sack or even strip, but he’s got to be careful to contain Roethlisberger’s scrambling as well.
  • LT Michael Oher vs. OLB James Harrison
    Protecting Joe Flacco’s hide from the “vicious” Harrison is key, especially if the Ravens want to open up the passing game. Oher, who is questionable for Sunday’s game, held Harrison without a sack in Week 4 and Marshal Yanda did the same against LaMarr Woodley on the other side. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said the Ravens “reinvent ourselves every week from a protection standpoint,” but more of the same results would be huge.
  • WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh vs. CB Bryant McFadden
    It was Houshmandzadeh who beat McFadden for the game-winning touchdown in Pittsburgh on Oct. 3. Although McFadden is listed as the Steelers’ top cornerback on their depth chart, Pittsburgh could choose to double-team Boldin with a combination of linebackers, safeties and backup cornerbacks and assign McFadden to Derrick Mason or Houshmandzadeh. Houshmandzadeh could be open deep.
  • DT Haloti Ngata vs. LG Chris Kemoeatu
    If the Steelers can’t move the ball on the ground and become one-dimensional, the Ravens’ pass rush could have a field day against Pittsburgh’s banged-up offensive line. Ngata can completely disrupt the ground game against Kemoeatu, who was flagged for four holding penalties last Sunday. Ngata had perhaps his best game of the season in Pittsburgh, notching 11 tackles and one sack.

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