Statistics say Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green against the Ravens secondary is a mismatch.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Green has recorded 647 yards receiving on only 19 receptions on passes thrown 15 yards or deeper. That's an astounding 34.1 yards per catch, which ranks fourth in the NFL among wide receivers with at least 30 such targets.
The Ravens, who rank near the top in nearly every defensive category, have a weak spot when it comes to long passes. Quarterbacks have a 98.7 QBR against the Ravens on passes of 15 yards or deeper, which is second-worst in the league. Baltimore is only a couple of weeks removed from allowing several deep throws against San Diego's Philip Rivers.
"I call him the leading rebounder in the National Football League right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Green. "He goes up and gets a lot of balls."
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said his defense has someone who can negate Green's ability to stretch the field.
"We have something that we like to call ‘The Fear Factor’ [Ed Reed] that lines up behind us, so we’re pretty safe," he said. "We feel that we’re pretty safe from him. He is still capable of going back there and making a play. He is definitely a problem that we’re going to have to deal with."
Green didn't face Baltimore in the first meeting this season because of a hyperextended knee, and he won't be at full strength this time. He injured his shoulder a couple of weeks ago and was limited to two catches for 25 yards in last Saturday's game against Arizona.
"There are going to be some effects,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said of Green's injury. “He is one week out [removed from his injury]. He will be much better this week than he was last week, just like he was better Wednesday than he was Tuesday. So I think in another week’s time, he’ll be much better. The thing about it, though, is if you went out there and you didn’t know his shoulder was hurt, you wouldn’t have known that he had any kind of injury at all."