If football games are won in the trenches, Ngata gives the Baltimore Ravens a huge advantage. The man is simply put a monster.
Pros: Haloti constantly eats up double teams and when he is manned up one on one he wrecks the man in his way. He is huge and as athletic as they come at his size, Ngata is a match up nightmare for any offensive lineman.
Cons: Durability, Ngata is as durable as they come but there is no question that he has not been playing at 100% at all in the past two years. If these two weeks off help reinvigorate this steam-roller, the 9ers are in big trouble in little China Town.
Last years Defensive Player of the Year is coming off a very serious Achilles injury, he has looked better and better each week. Let's hope for more of the same.
Pros: Suggs has that rare combination of size and speed. He can bull rush a lineman as well as pull off a sick spin move that leaves them confused and turned all over the place. He can be the most dominant defensive player in the game.
Cons: His injury. Suggs has been limited to mainly using his bull rush this season, so far, which may not be enough to put constant pressure on the speedy Colin Kaepernick. Hopefully the two weeks off will help him heal up for the big game as well.
The heart and soul of the Ravens defense and team as a whole. He has lifted the spirits of the entire team since his return.
Pros: Leading tackler in the entire playoffs and one of the best tacklers in NFL history. Smartest defender in the game and still hits like a Mack truck. Can put a stop to the run or rush the passer. Although I'd rather not see him used as a rusher this week unless it's a run blitz.
Cons: His age. Ray is relentless and prepares better than anyone in the game from film study to in game action but he has lost a step on those sideline to sideline plays. This is where the other linebackers will need to step up and help their leader the most.
Sure fire Hall of Fame safety. Probably the best of all time.
Pros: Reed is the best ball hawk in the game and could really change the game since Colin Kaepernick is young and has never faced the likes of an Ed Reed before.
Cons: Reed's health. He has shown a tendency to shy away from tackles in the regular season but has changed that so far in the post season. So far, every quarterback he has played against has done their best to keep the ball away from the talented safety but maybe the rookie needs to learn that for himself.
Has stepped up his game tremendously in Suggs absence. I'm so proud of Paul. He is finally living up to his high draft day value.
Pros: Great spin move and great speed. can be dominant from the right side as he hand fights very well and comes quickly off the edge.
Cons: May not be a three down player and sometimes struggles setting the edge on running plays.
What a great addition to this team Pollard has been. It's like he was born a Raven, he just needed to find his way home.
Pros: Hardest hitting safety in the game. He brings a real physical feel to the Ravens secondary which leads to receivers shying away from contact more often than not.
Cons: Sometimes struggles in coverage. Could be a match up problem if he is forced to cover a large and athletic tight end or running back coming out of the back-field.
Sometimes the forgotten man in the Ravens vaunted defense, he could be the replacement for Ray Lewis next season.
Pros: Very fast and very physical. He seems to have learned a lot from Ray Lewis and has finally found his way out of Harbaughs dog house
Cons: Was injured recently and you never know when he could re-injure himself. Ellerbe must stay on the field. The talent pool drops of quite a bit after a guy like Ellerbe is sidelined.
Both will be counted on heavily to keep their receivers covered if Kaepernick is able to buy extra time with his legs.
Pros: Both are savvy veteran corners that should be able to bait the young QB into mistakes. For both players passes defensed will be the key to their game as both do that well. Cary lead the team in interceptions during the regular season but Graham has the edge in the post season.
Cons: Both have shown flashes of play-making ability but neither is a true shut down corner. they will get beat, the question is, how much??