Ravens vs. Bengals: The Top 3 Player Matchups
Being played in prime time, the game as a whole is a must-see, but the head-to-head player matchups are just as intriguing. The individual battles between players will ultimately decide the game, and there are several matchups to watch.
Here are three key player matchups to follow in Monday night's game.
A.J. Green vs. Lardarius Webb
If the Bengals are going to go into Baltimore and pull off the upset against the Ravens, they need their star receiver, A.J. Green, to have a huge game.
In his one game against the Ravens in 2011, Green caught only two passes for 26 yards. He was fairly unheard of during that game and his poor performance contributed to a 24-16 loss for the Bengals.
Going up against one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL in Lardarius Webb, the Green/Webb matchup is a must-see.
Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith vs. Leon Hall
One key Bengals defender that the Ravens did not face in 2011 was cornerback Leon Hall.
Hall suffered a season-ending injury one week before the first game against the Ravens last season, and his absence was felt in the game after his injury. Ravens receiver Torrey Smith picked apart the Bengals' secondary by catching six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
Hall will likely defend both Smith and Anquan Boldin at times on Monday night, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his first regular-season game since Week 10 of last season.
Justin Tucker vs. Mike Nugent
While kickers Justin Tucker and Mike Nugent won't necessarily line up against each other in Monday night's game, the head-to-head kicking battle could decide the outcome of the game.
In a game between two fairly evenly matched teams, the game may ultimately come down to a kick at the end of the game. Likewise, a missed kick by either Tucker or Nugent at any point during the game could be the difference between a win and a loss.
With an 86.8 percent conversion rate in 2011, Nugent was one of the better kickers in the NFL. He will likely be counted on to outshine Tucker, who is making his NFL debut for the Ravens.
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