By Edward Lee
6:00 AM EST, December 16, 2011
The Ravens’ aerial attack will match wits with a San Diego Chargers’ pass defense that ranks seventh in the NFL, allowing an average of 201.5 yards.
Headlining that Chargers’ unit is free safety Eric Weddle, whose team-leading seven interceptions are tied with Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson and New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington for the NFL lead.
“He’s just got good ball skills,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said of Weddle. “He’s back there at safety, and he’s got the skills. When the ball goes in the air, he does a good job of being a guy that can go get it and judge the ball and catch it and do all those things.”
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Weddle had registered six interceptions in his first four seasons in San Diego, but he has been opportunistic this year.
“He’s smart. He’s tough,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “He plays just like he did – everybody watched him coming out of college and you can see why they traded up to get him. He kind of quarterbacks, the defense and he’s having a solid year.”
But the Chargers aren’t invulnerable through the air. They have surrendered 22 passing touchdowns to opponents, a number that is tied for eighth-most allowed in the NFL. That might be a by-product of San Diego’s aggressive style of play from its secondary, Flacco noted.
“They do a good job,” he said. “They have confidence that they can play man-to-man, so they play a lot of man. Like I said, they have confidence that they can do it well, so that what we’ll expect to see.”
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