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Is Freeney finally slowing down? The man with 561⁄2 sacks over the last five years had a mere 51⁄2 last year. It's a deceptive stat. According to Pro Football Prospectus 2007, Freeney hurried quarterbacks 33 times, tops in the NFL. In Week 10 he'll try out his nonpareil moves on San Diego's second-year left tackle, the 6' 7", 336-pound McNeill. The two didn't face each other in McNeill's rookie year, but rest assured the league's most promising line prodigy knows what he's up against. "I usually watch a lot of tape of defensive ends," McNeill says. "I just catch him on his highlight film." And what does he see? "Speed, speed, speed. Spin, spin, spin."
WEEK 13 ||| DECEMBER 2
In a game that should have playoff implications, Clements--the former Bill newly anointed as the highest-paid defender in NFL history--will face his sternest test in Carolina's Smith. They've met once before, in '05 at Buffalo. Smith had only three catches, but the brash wideout doesn't credit Clements with shutting him down. "[They used] Cover Two, safety over the top. They were reluctant to put him singled up." The 6-foot, 215-pound Clements should see more of Smith this time, employing his physical style to knock the lightning quick 5' 9", 185-pound Smith off his game. One missed jam, though, and Smith has a way of popping up in the paint.