A.J. Green has always found a way to make big game-deciding plays against the Baltimore Ravens. This offseason Jimmy Smith has gone on record to express his excitement regarding an offseason where he did not have to recover from any in-season surgeries. He could be heading for a true breakout season, at the national level.
The Ravens defense made the investments across the secondary to transition to a man-to-man defense and this fact will play directly to Jimmy Smith's adavantage. Not many cornerbacks in the league are as physical and consistent with their press technique. If the Ravens four-man pass rush comes to life, the Ravens will be able to play man-under coverages that will allow Smith to work with Eric Weddle and blanket their side of the field.
In theory, Jimmy Smith is the type of corner one would draw up to counter Green. His length and physicality combined with his ball skills should be enough to match Green at the line of scrimmage and the catch point. Though we've seen Smith struggle with Green's change of direction skills, an offseason without foot and ankle injuries should allow Smith to return to his 2013-2014 form.
The Ravens will have the option to double Green for the entire game or on a snap-by-snap basis. There will be some plays that will see Dean Pees leave Smith on an island to take advantage of the below average Bengals offensive line with Cover-1 and perhaps even Cover-0 blitzes.
This coming Sunday, A.J Green will line up on the open side of the field, where Smith is guaranteed to greet him with left handed stabs to the chest. If Smith comes out the victor, a Ravens win is almost a guarantee.