But the test Cincinnati posed doesn’t compare to what they’ll see in Philadelphia.
Oher and Osemele will face off against Eagles defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole, who combined for 29 sacks last year – the most among any duo in the NFL.
Babin had 18 while Cole had 11. The next closest pair of pass rushers in the league was the New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul (16.5) and Osi Umenyiora (nine).
“Tremendous challenge,” Oher said. “They’re physical, they’re very fast off the ball, they have great leverage. They know how to pass rush.”
Babin and Cole are not only physical specimens. The Eagles use a wide-alignment scheme that puts them more into strict pass-rush position.
The alignment means Babin and Cole line up wider than normal defensive ends would. It forces opposing offensive tackles to slide a greater distance off the snap, putting them more on an island. It can expose tackles to an inside move since they have to get so wide.
“This is a penetrating, wide-aligned defense that can really come after you,” Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said.
“These guys, they don’t stay blocked. They’re athletic. They’re explosive. They get off the ball probably as good as anybody in the league; I don’t know if they are the best yet, but they can get off the ball quickly.”
The Eagles’ pass-rush corps doesn’t end with Babin and Cole. The Eagles tied for the most sacks in the NFL last year with 50 as a team.
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins had 5.5 sacks last year. They have two first-round draft picks on the defensive line in Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Cox had a sack last week in Cleveland, along with one by Babin.
“It’s amazing,” Harbaugh said. “They’ve got 10 defensive linemen on the roster. They are all legitimate pass rushers. They are all high-motor, high-effort guys. I have been around Trent Cole when we were there. The energy he plays with is really amazing. The whole defensive front is like that.”
The other challenge for Oher and Osemele will be the crowd noise at Lincoln Financial Field. The louder the stadium, the more difficult it is to hear the snap and calls at the line, which the Ravens are doing a lot of now in their no-huddle offense.
All of that will be new for Osemele and left guard
“This will be the first real crowd noise experience some of the young guys have had,” Cameron said. “It will just be another part of their growth, our growth as an offense, and being able to do the no-huddle and some of those things. Doing it at home is one thing.”