Ravens face another tough test in defending A.J. Green for the second time

Patrick Smith

Green had 151 yards and a touchdown (albeit on a fluke) in the first Ravens-Bengals game.

The Ravens have gone against both A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson this season.

And early in the week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh reiterated who he thought was the NFL's best receiver.

"I think I was the first guy who came out two years ago and said I thought he was the best receiver in football," Harbaugh told reporters on Monday. "So, I'm on record with the A.J. Green kudos. I'll stand on that. He's a great player."

On the final play of regulation in Baltimore's 20-17 overtime win earlier this season, Green snagged a tipped pass for a 51-yard touchdown, stunning the M&T Bank Stadium crowd.

But even without that reception, Green had 100 yards for the day on seven other receptions. It's clear that even if Green isn't the NFL's best receiver, he ranks high on the list and can give any defense problems throughout a game.

In the two teams' first meeting, the Ravens kept their corners in place. When the Ravens faced the Lions' Johnson, they matched Jimmy Smith on the receiver for most of the game.

With Smith in the midst of his best season in Baltimore, that could be a strategy the Ravens go back to this week.

Containing Green from breaking the big play will be a focal point on the defensive side of the ball. If Green is able to get free downfield a bunch then the Ravens will be asking a lot of teams around the league for some help.


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