FLOWERY BRANCH – One of the more interesting matchups will be Falcons defensive end John “The Predator” Abraham on Ravens left tackle Michael Oher on Thursday night’s game at the Georgia Dome.
Abraham leads the Falcons with six sacks. Oher is the former Mississippi star that they made the movie “Blindside” about.
He’s off to a good start in his career, but Abraham has made it a habit of abusing young tackles. Last season, in the opener against Miami, he tossed Jake Long around like a rag doll.
Earlier this season in the 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 10, Abraham terrorized Joe Thomas.
Abraham is still ticked that he didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2008 when he set the franchise record with 16.5 sacks. By the way, fan voting has started for the Pro Bowl.
Here are some other key matchups:
Falcons FB Ovie Mughelli vs. Ravens LB Ray Lewis: Mughelli played with the Ravens from 2003 to 2006 and knows the key to keeping Lewis from destroying the entire offensive operation. Mughelli wants to be considered for the Pro Bowl and knows that if he
pummels Lewis on national television with the rest of the league watching that he can punch his ticket for Hawaii. The Falcons need to establish their power runs with Mughelli leading up in the hole and taking out Lewis.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan vs. Ravens FS Ed Reed: Ryan is 17-1 in the Georgia Dome. Reed has three interceptions in two games since being activated from the physically unable to perform list. He had hip surgery. Reed is a real student of the game and will know the intricacies of the Falcons passing attack. Ryan doesn’t plan to stay away from Reed, but will be determined and calculated when he decides to challenge the six-time Pro Bowler. Ryan has completed 62.5 percent of his passes and has thrown just five interceptions over 288 attempts this season.
Falcons LG Justin Blalock and LT Sam Baker vs. Ravens DT Haloti Ngata: The Ravens will move their linemen around and come with some bizarre blitz packages. Ngata, who has five sacks will slide down inside and be over Blalock on some plays or will flex out at defensive end and be over Baker. The Falcons have struggled against 3-4 fronts as Michael Turner’s per game rushing average is almost 10 yards lower against 3-4 teams.