Ravens-Browns matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 24, 2010 @ 8 a.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Here's a matchup to watch in Sunday's Ravens-Browns game. 

Ravens WRs Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin vs. Browns CBs Sheldon Brown, Joe Haden and Mike Adams

Boldin was the difference between winning and losing for the Ravens in Week Three, hauling in three TD passes from QB Joe Flacco in Baltimore's 24-17 victory. Eric Wright, who was covering Boldin on all three scores, lost his starting job to rookie Joe Haden and is out for the season with a knee injury, so it could fall on Haden to cover Boldin on the outside.  

Boldin's size, strength and physicality make him a tough matchup, but Haden certainly has the speed to keep up with him. Haden has played very well in the second half of the season, and picking on him could be tough. 

Should Boldin play the slot, Adams could have the coverage. Boldin gave the Browns fits operating out of the right slot, and Adams needs to fare better than Wright did against Baltimore's top receiver for Cleveland to turn the tables in the rematch. 

Boldin, who has caught 60 passes for 813 yards and seven TDs in 2010, has been targeted less frequently in recent weeks than he was earlier in the season and had just two passes thrown his way vs. the Saints last week, with a mere one catch for two yards. The question is, will the Browns devote extra attention to him after struggling to single-cover him last time? 

Mason (54-718-6) is a Ravens stalwart and someone with whom the Browns are quite familiar. He also was a nonfactor vs. New Orleans as the Ravens got the ball to RB Ray Rice time and again as a rusher and receiver. However, he caught a two TD passes vs. Houston two weeks ago. He'll likely match up with the smart, physical Brown.