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Playoff Preview: Ravens vs. Steelers
Posted By Frisco Fahs On Jan 13 2011 @ 6:14 pm In Baltimore Ravens | No Comments
The first match up between the Ravens and Steelers in week four was won by the Ravens, 17-14. It was a home game for the Steelers but, Ben Roethlisberger was serving his last game for his four game suspension. In week 13, the Ravens were at home but lost the game 13-10. Now the third match up. Who has the edge?
Offense: Edge Steelers
The Ravens have the better offense on paper but aren’t playing like it. The Steelers have a better running game with Rashard Mendenhall. He had 1,273 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns. They have a better big play threat with one of the fastest wide outs in the NFL, Mike Wallace. He had 60 receptions for 1,257 receiving yards with 10 touchdowns. He averages 21 yards per catch. This game is not going to be a shoot out by any means but when it comes down to which offense has the better opportunity to score and score quickly, that would be the Steelers.
Defense: Edge Steelers
Giving the Steelers an edge here is like trying to pick the best running back of all time. You got Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith. Not saying that these defenses are the best of all time. It’s just that there is no wrong answer in picking one. The Steelers have a slight edge because they generate more pressure on the quarterback and create more turnovers. The Ravens are more fundamentally sound when it comes to tackling and not letting the opposing offenses get any yards after the catch.
Special Teams: Edge Ravens
This game is going to be won by field possession and field goals. The Ravens are better at both. Billy Cundiff made 26 out of his 29 field goals. Two of them were beyond 40 yards. Shaun Suisham has only attempted 15 field goals this season. He made 14 of them but replaced Jeff Reed in the middle of the season. I say this virtually every week but he deservers all the credit in the world. Sam Koch is a great punter. He has 39 punts which land within the 20 yard line. That’s second best in the NFL. That will be a huge factor in this game.
Prediction: Ravens 10, Steelers 13
The Steelers are at home. They’ve had one full week to rest, especially for safety Troy Polamalu. These teams are evenly matched and play very similar on both sides of the football. The Steelers have a slight edge. Joe Flacco has been inconsistent for most the regular season. If he takes care of the ball and makes great plays, they will have a shot to win this game. Either way, I believe this is the best game on the NFL weekend. Whichever team wins will go into the AFC Championship game with a lot of confidence.
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