Michael Oher Steps Up, Neutralizes Pass Rusher DeMarcus Ware


The offensive line came under fire in the media last week.

After allowing four sacks to the Kansas City Chiefs – two by left tackle Michael Oher – some pundits suggested that the Ravens should move last year's starter Bryant McKinnie back into the starting left tackle spot.

The Ravens stuck with Oher Sunday against the Cowboys, and he came through with arguably his finest performance of the season. Oher held premier pass rusher DeMarcus Ware at bay, limiting him to one sack on the day.

"I'm always up for the challenge," Oher said after the game. "You just have to play fundamentally sound. He has all the tools, has power, has speed. He has that 'it' factor, so you have to try to play your best technique football."

Ware's one sack came in the third quarter when he actually went up against left guard Bobbie Williams. Williams ran a stunt to the inside of Oher and then Williams tripped on the play, which allowed Ware to get to Flacco.

Other than that play, Ware's name wasn't called for the rest of the game.

"The offense did a good job," Oher said. "He's a great player, Hall of Fame caliber."

Ware came into the game with 21 tackles and five sacks on the season, but the Ravens found a way to limit his productivity, giving quarterback Joe Flacco time to throw in the pocket.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Flacco was under duress or sacked on only 2-of-18 dropbacks (12.8 percent) against the Cowboys' standard pressure.

Oher credited an overall offensive performance with slowing down Ware, as the Ravens adjusted their blocking schemes to account for the Pro Bowl defensive end.

"I didn't eliminate his action; the offense did a lot of different things to help out with him, like chipping, helping out with tight ends," Oher said. "You can't just try to block that guy one-on-one. You need help."

Ware's sack was the only one of the game, and a solid overall outing from the offensive line was a key piece in the Ravens coming away with a 31-29 win over the Cowboys to move to 5-1 on the year.

"It's a great win," Oher said. "And, we won it against a great defense as well. We have a lot of things to work on. We look to get better this week against the Texans."

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