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Top Matchup: Tamba Hali vs. Michael Oher

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Tamba Hali had two sacks and a forced fumble against Michael Oher in their last meeting.

Michael Oher doesn’t remember the game, but Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali does.

In the 2011 divisional playoffs, Hali notched two sacks and a forced fumble while matched up against Oher, who was at left tackle in his sophomore season.

The Ravens won in a landslide, 30-7, but Hali had a monster performance.

“He’s one of the best,” Oher said. “He has a variety of different moves. He can use speed or power. He just gets after it and has a knack for finishing.”

Hali had nice things to say about Oher as well.

“Great athlete, good player,” Hali said. “He knows how to punch his hands. He gets to the spot, forces you to make decisions. He protects the inside very well, strong.”

Oher doesn’t remember giving up the two sacks and said he doesn’t have plans to go back and watch the tape to jog his memory.

Hali doesn’t put much stock into that performance being an indicator of what’s to come this Sunday.

“Every year it’s different, and guys prepare differently,” Hali said. “Hopefully, if we get in that type of game, I’ll be able to use what I was able to do in prior years, but this year is a little different. Depending on how the game goes, it will be interesting on how he and I will match up for the entire game.”

Hali has been fairly quiet this season, but is starting to show signs of life.

The 2011 Pro Bowler logged 12 sacks last year and 14.5 the season before. Yet he has just one sack in three games so far this season. Hali served a one-game NFL suspension in Week 1 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

He logged his first sack last week against San Diego, sacking Philip Rivers for a loss of 10 yards.

“I don’t know if he’s a sleeping giant because he’s a Pro Bowler every year,” Oher said. “You can’t miss that guy.”

Hali isn’t the only Chiefs pass rusher to worry about. Second-year outside linebacker Justin Houston has four sacks already playing on the opposite side of Hali. The Georgia product had 5.5 in his rookie season.

“They’ve got two tremendous pass rushers right now,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “It seems like we see those [pass rushers] every week, and there are two more of them coming down the pike.”

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