Raiders key matchup No. 1: Lee vs. Tannehill

September 15, 2012, 9:44 pm
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Dolphins matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS) at Sun Life Stadium.

Matchup No. 3: Rolando McClain vs. Reggie Bush
Matchup No. 2: Jared Veldheer vs. Cameron Wake

Raiders DB Pat Lee vs. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill
Tale of the tape
Lee: 6-foot, 195 pounds, fifth season, Auburn
Tannehill: 6-foot-4, 221 pounds, rookie, Texas A&MHOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Lee has been playing in NFL games since 2008. Tannehill was the No. 8 overall pick of the most recent NFL draft.The Raiders cornerback and the Dolphins quarterback have started the exact same number of games in their respective NFL careers -- one.And yet, because of the broken shoulder blade suffered by Ron Bartell in Monday night's opener, Lee will get the start at left corner and will no doubt be targeted by Tannehill on Sunday."It's no different," Lee told reporters of starting this week. "No different at all. Still got to go out there and help everybody else on the team."You never know what situation you could be in. So I just always prepare myself like, any day, I could be out there. Any minute. It could be for the rest of the season, or a couple games. It doesn't matter. I always prepare myself like that."That mindset helped him against San Diego on Monday, when he played the second half for Bartell, and in Super Bowl XLV, when he had to play 20 snaps for Green Bay when Charles Woodson went down and Sam Shields was also injured.Most of Lee's time had come as a nickel cornerback."And hes physical," said Raiders cornerback Shawntae Spencer. "I call him 'Fat Corner.' Hes a big corner, manand tackles well. Everybodys comfortable, I know the staff is very comfortable with him being in there, playing all the calls. Nothing is going to change as far as, its not going to limit us without Ron or nothing like that. I know they've got total confidence in him."Confidence, though, might have been an issue for Tannehill, who suffered through a skittish debut in the Dolphins' 30-10 loss at Houston last week.In becoming the first rookie quarterback to start a season opener in Miami franchise history, he through three interceptions, had five passes tipped and finished with a passer rating of 39.0.Tannehill said the tipped passes, three of them by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, were a point of emphasis this week in anticipation of the Dolphins' home opener."Is there anything that I'm giving away, (are) there indicators?" Tannehill wondered. "Not a lot we can do about itthey're all on quick games, short throws."Watt said he picked up the Dolphins' snap count watching the team on HBO's "Hard Knocks" show during training camp."During the downfield passes, obviously you need to find the throwing lane," Tannehill added. "When youre throwing the quick game, its tough to be able to move and you find a throwing lane. Well, if youre throwing a quick slant, you dont have a lot of time to moveI have to be able to get the ball out quickly and have a high release, but other than that, theres not a whole lot you can do about it."If and when he goes downfield, Tannehill will find Lee, who was drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2008 draft and spent 2009 on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. He reunited with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie on March 27, signing with Oakland as a free agent.The Raiders are fine with Tannehill targeting Lee, especially after his showing against San Diego."I thought he went in and played against a good offensive team and played pretty well," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "We're looking forward to watching him go out there and play. He's prepared to play like a pro, and that's what we fully anticipate."We expect a high level, and he expects a high level of himself."