BLOG: Conn’s Keys To The Game – Ravens Vs. Chiefs

I wanted to give you a few of the matchups and players I will be looking for the game against Kansas City. In the last game we took a look at a lot of the young guys and some of the position battles. Here are a few things I will be watching for.

Michael Oher Vs Tamba Hali – So much has been made of the right side of the line and people don’t believe that Oher is the left tackle of the future. I think Oher will be fine and from what Harbaugh said the starters will play into the second quarter. Tamba Hali led the AFC in sacks last year and has improver immensely over the past few seasons. It’s a nice measuring stick for Oher against one of the best pass rushers in the game.

Strong Safety position– We have Nakamura, Zibby and Bernard Pollard all trying to get the most reps at the position. Everyone is in love with Pollard after a few of hard tackles in the first preseason game, but he is questionable at best in pass defense. I liked what I saw out of Zibby in the games he filled in for Reed last year and I believe he could do a nice job. But, in my humble opinion, I think Nakamura is the best all around player of the three. As far as playing the pass, run and intangibles I would start Haruki over the other 2. I’ll be playing close attention to this battle in the next 2 games.

Joe Flacco– Lastly I’ll be watching the quarterback play, especially Joe Flacco. I believe this is his year to prove himself to all the doubters. I believe his offensive line will be poor considering the injuries and just all around bad play on the right side of the line. As I mentioned Oher will have his hands full on the other side. Also, Flacco has new receivers that he has to get acclimated with. So I believe the pressure will be on, let’s see how he handles it.

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