Fact or Fiction: Seahawks still NFC's best?

Can the Ravens' defense limit LaDainian Tomlinson? That's just one of the issues our experts debate in Fact or Fiction.

Updated: September 28, 2006, 1:16 PM ET

Everyone has an opinion about what will happen during the NFL season. And the predictions will prove to be either true or false.

So we've made four bold statements and asked our ESPN experts -- former NFL players Eric Allen and Joe Theismann -- whether they believe the statements eventually will become fact or fiction.

On which side of the fence do they sit? Click on the links below for their answers.


Eric Allen
Fact: The Ravens are back to playing excellent defense again. This team has proven through the first three weeks of the season that it has one of the best defenses in the league. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Chris McAlister are all healthy. All three of those guys are equally proficient at stopping the pass and the run, and that trend will continue this week. The Ravens are going to put eight and nine men in the box to force the Chargers to rely on the arm of young quarterback Philip Rivers to be successful. As good as the Ravens are on defense, they don't want to put the game in the hands of Tomlinson, because he's one of the best running backs in the game.
Joe Theismann
Fact: The Ravens will find a way to stifle the best running back in the NFL, but it won't be easy. Tomlinson is a multifaceted back who has proven he can decimate opposing defenses on the ground or through the air. Heck, he'll even throw a few passes to make things really confusing. The Ravens will have to commit extra men in the box and make sure that someone other than a linebacker is covering Tomlinson out of the backfield. They can't afford for him to get into single coverage against a linebacker because he's simply too dangerous. The Ravens have a smart enough and talented enough defense, and it won't slip up this week.