Here's three key matchups in the Ravens' game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:
Rams RB Todd Gurley vs. Ravens LBs C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith: Gurley, a rookie, is fourth in the NFL with 709 rushing yards, even though he didn't make his first start until Week 4. He has that rare combination of speed and power, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh says he is one of the best running backs he has ever seen as a rookie. Mosley (56 total tackles) might have played his best game of the season last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Smith (81) usually turns in a strong effort every week. Edge: Even.
Rams DT Aaron Donald vs. Ravens RG Marshal Yanda: Donald leads the Rams with six sacks and has eight other tackles for a loss. He also has pressured opposing quarterbacks 24 times. Yanda has been the Ravens' top lineman for years and is turning in another strong season. Yanda excels at run blocking, but pass-rushing defensive linemen with long arms and speed give him trouble. Edge: Ravens.
Rams S's Mark Barron, T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod vs. Ravens TEs Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle: The Ravens used three tight end looks more often last week against Jacksonville and were able to complete some passes downfield. In contrast, St. Louis gave up three big plays a week ago that were the main reasons why the Rams lost to the Chicago Bears. The Ravens also might use three tight ends to strengthen their running game. Barron leads the Rams in tackles with 62 while McDonald has 45. Edge: Rams