Ravens-Browns matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 03, 2011 @ 3:13 a.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

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

Browns QB Colt McCoy vs. Ravens' pass defense

Entering his first-ever start vs. the Ravens last December, Colt McCoy had thrown just three interceptions in his first six NFL games.

By the end of that first try against Baltimore, McCoy's interception total had doubled, and he had received an education of sorts from Ravens FS Ed Reed. 

Reed, who has tormented Browns quarterbacks over the years, intercepted McCoy twice.

On the first interception, McCoy pump-faked and threw deep, but Reed, playing center field, made the pick. McCoy's intended receiver had run by CB Lardarius Webb, who had jumped the route after Reed assured him he would have deep coverage, the Ravens' then-secondary coach and now-defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano later told PFW. 

On Reed's second pick, McCoy simply overthrew his target, and the Ravens' legendary playmaker was there to make the catch.

"He's very instinctual and he takes chances," McCoy said of Reed this week. "Sometimes guys who take chances like that are hard to get a read on, and he just does a really nice job. You just have to know where he's at."

Webb made the Ravens' other interception in McCoy's lone 2010 start vs. Baltimore, covering WR Mohamed Massaquoi closely and intercepting a deep pass. In some ways, it was like Webb's interception of 49ers QB Alex Smith on Thanksgiving night.

Webb is in the midst of his finest NFL season, and the Ravens' other starting cornerback, Cary Williams, is playing well, too. SS Bernard Pollard, though best-known for his play vs. the run, did intercept four passes two seasons ago for Houston, so he can capltalize on an opponent's mistake, as well.