Blog Entry

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:00 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 6:02 pm

Patriots guard Logan Mankins vs. Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata -- This is a battle of two perennial Pro Bowl players who haven't quite had the seasons that many expected. Even so, they're still good football players. Ngata has been blocked more this season than any other of his recent years. Mankins is a physical player who is among the NFL's best when he's at the top of his game. He has to move Ngata if the Patriots are to have any chance to run.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul vs. 49ers tackle Joe Staley -- It all starts for the Giants up front with Pierre-Paul. He is a physical freak who can influence the game with his pass rush. Staley is a solid player in pass protection, but the 49ers helped him a lot in the first game. I look for them to do the same here.

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs vs. Patriots tackles Nate Solder and Matt Light -- Suggs is the best pass rusher for the Ravens, but he didn't get a sack last week against the Texans. Solder and Light shut out Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil last week. Suggs plays both sides on defense, so both players will have their chances against him. They can't allow him to get going. He tends to get sacks in bunches. 

Ravens center Matt Birk vs. Patriots defensive tackles Kyle Love and Vince Wilfork -- Birk isn't as powerful as he once was, so I would expect the Patriots to keep a player on his nose for most of the game. If they can control the middle, it will make it tough for Ray Rice to get going. In the 2009 game, Birk got a great block on Wilfork to spring Rice for an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game.

Giants receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz vs. 49ers corners Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown -- Nicks and Cruz are a handful for whoever they face. Nicks is big and fast, while Cruz is small and quick. Rogers has had an outstanding season, one that will get him a fat contract as a free agent. Brown has been solid. The 49ers used a lot of zone in the first meeting, so it will be interesting to see if they change it up.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis vs. Giants safeties Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle -- Davis had 180 receiving yards last week against the Saints, including the game-winning score in the final seconds. The 49ers love to move him around a lot in their formations, lining him up both wide and in-line. That makes him a tough player to defend. He did catch a touchdown pass in the first game between the teams in Week 10, but the Giants did a pretty good job on him most of that game. I would expect the two safeties to spend a lot of time on him. There's also a chance dime safety Deon Grant could play him some.

49ers outside linebacker/defensive end Aldon Smith vs. Giants left tackle David Diehl -- There are some out there who think Diehl is horrible. He isn't. But he will have his hands full with Smith in passing situations. The rookie outside rusher from Missouri has become a real force off the edge. Diehl has to be able to hold up against him if Eli Manning is to have time to make big throws down the field.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. Ravens safety Ed Reed -- How do you stop Gronkowski? You don't. You just have to hope to contain him. I would imagine that Reed, one of the best safeties ever, would spend time on him. He can run with Gronkowski, but the tight end has a huge edge in terms of size. 

Patriots receiver Wes Welker vs. Ravens corners Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams -- Other than Gronkowski and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez, Welker is the only other real receiving threat.  He does most of his damage in the middle of the field. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens play one of their starting corners on him. Webb has had a Pro Bowl-type of season and had two picks last week. Williams has been a pleasant surprise. Nickel corner Jimmy Smith will also be in the mix. He is a rookie.

49ers quarterback Alex Smith vs. himself -- This is the biggest game of his life. Smith played well last week against the Saints when given the chance to throw. Was it his coming-out game or an aberration? We'll know by Sunday night. He sure looks more comfortable in the pocket now than the Smith we saw the past couple of seasons.


Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:51 pm

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

Petulant? Whiny? Self-loathing? Self-absorbed? I follow Joe Flacco's career very carefully and wouldn't use these adjectives to describe him. I've never seen him as anything other than a hard-working & successful QB. I really wish the haters would lighten up because it's getting very boring. Go Ravens!

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:38 pm

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

@neilp: you reply to the comment "The Patriots are notorious for fudging the injury list." with "Another ignorant comment from an anti-Patriots fan."

Please do a little research before wrongly slamming someone.  Try googling "Belichick injury list" and here are a few of the many results you'll get:

"If there's been one consistent element of Bill Belichick's tenure in New England, it's been the ever-entertaining injury report. Whether Tom Brady really was "probable" with an "elbow injury" for several years, we never really can know, but we certainly have our doubts."




"Bill Belichick Plays the Injury Report Like a Flute...Belichick and Co. realize this, and in their own sadistic way, use it as a big proverbial middle finger to the rest of the league"


"Brady, who is on the injury report with a left shoulder problem, indicated the time off the field was coach Bill Belichick’s idea."




As a consequence of the evidence, one would have conclude YOUR comment is "another (truly!) ignorant comment from a Patriots fan"!

Since: May 25, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:02 pm

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

Tom Brady running the fast no huddle offense all day will wear out the aging Ravens. Suggs. Reed and Lewis are the greatest, but we all have to face father time at some point. Look for the Ravens to lay down on the field and fake injury, like the Broncos did to slow down the pace of the Patriots.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:11 am

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

The Patriots are notorious for fudging the injury list.

Another ignorant comment from an anti-Patriots fan. They comply to the letter. If the Ravens are a professional team they will be ready for anything (and I am sure they are).

Tom Brady, left shoulder, gimme a break. 

If you even looked at the report you would find Tom Brady is not on it!!!!

This game is full of great matchups, interesting that the leader of the defense is not mentioned or matched up with anyone. 

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:39 am

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

As far as the NFC Title Game.I'm looking forward to how the 49ers 'D' are going to be able to stop Eli Manning,The Niners are giving up what 80yds.per game.That's a great stat,& I think between Jacobs & Bradshaw they'll get 80 yards but the way Eli plays especially when the calender turns to January,he's going to be the bigger name to stop.It'll be interesting to see if the Niners focus on shutting down Cruz & letting Nicks beat them as both Atlanta & Green Bay chose to do or if they've come up with something else.

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:25 am

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

I think it's going to be very interesting how the Ravens 'D' goes about stopping or slowing down TEs Gronkowski & Hernandez,who I wouldn't be surprised for a minute if he(Aaron Hernandez)is 100% despite being on the injury report.The Patriots are notorious for fudging the injury list.Tom Brady,left shoulder,gimme a break.

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:31 am

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

He forgot the petulant, whiny, self loathing and self-absorbed Mr. Flacco vs. the world.  I am rooting heavily for the world in this one.

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:53 pm

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

Now that we have the whole field caked as matchutps to watch... why don't we say the only matchups that need to be watched are the game themselves.

Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 2:55 pm

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata

The matchup to watch is Brady and the no huddle against the Ravens D.  Can the 49ers score td's against the Giants D.  Can the Patriots D stop Ray Rice?  Chung improves the Pats defense along with Spikes and Mayo being healthy.  The Patriots D will surprise Sunday.Cool


;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n

Since: Oct 17, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:28 am

Championship Game Matchups: Mankins vs. Ngata


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