With the first week of the NFL being less than a week away, (Thank God) teams are really going to start practicing their games plans that they have put together in the last couple of weeks. What makes this game between the Bengals and Ravens so interesting in the amount of injuries on both teams. So with the injuries accounted for, let’s take a look at some of the key match-ups that are going to take place.
Last week, Kyle Cook sustained an injury to his foot that will mark him unavailable for most of the 2012 season. This forced the Bengals to go out and sign veteran Center, Jeff Faine. Faine is ten year veteran who has spent time with the Tampa Bay, Cleveland, the and Saints ball clubs. The one benefit that he has going into the game on Monday is that he has faced the Ravens Haloti Ngata before.
The other player in this match-up, Haloti Ngata, was ranked as the #9 player going into the NFL this season by his peers (Other NFL Players). Ngata has been selected to three pro-bowls in his career, and the #9 spot ranks him the 3rd best defensive player, 2nd best defensive lineman, and the best defensive tackle in the game. Needless to say, Faine shall have his hands full.
2. Zeitler, Boiling v. Ravens 7 Man Box
It is not secret that the Baltimore Ravens have one of the best defenses in the NFL ranking 3rd in Total Yards (288.9), 4th in Passing Yards (196.2), and 2nd in Rushing Yards (92.6). Obviously the men stopping the run consist of the men on the front lines, and the linebackers. However, with Suggs out for a larger portion of the season due to an injury he sustained during the offseason, and Jarret Johnson not with the club anymore, a lot of the pressure from the Linebackers has been reduced. That should give Kevin Zeitler and Clint Boiling a little bit of a confidence boost knowing that those two will not be in the game, and should make for a good match-up with Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith on the outside.