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McClain, McClellan Proving to be more than just Casual Fill-ins

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It’s no secret what the Baltimore Ravens did defensively to the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night was nothing short of impressive and dominant.

(Credits: Larry French/Getty Images)

It was an impressive performance because the Ravens were without their All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who sat out with a toe injury for the second straight game. It’s even more impressive because the team did it with two undrafted players at inside and middle linebacker.

Jameel McClain, who recorded eight tackles in Thursday night’s 16-6 victory, has taken over for the injured Lewis, relaying the calls to the defense. McClain is just three years removed from being the only rookie free agent to make the Ravens’ roster in 2008.

Meanwhile, Albert McClellan is just two years removed from playing at Marshall. In his first career start Thursday night, McClellan recorded four tackles.

McClain and McClellan played a big part in limiting 49ers running back Frank Gore to 39 yards on 14 carries, a meager 2.8 yards per carry. By making San Francisco one-dimensional, the Ravens were able to tie a franchise record with nine sacks.