Blog Entry

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:32 pm
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Posted by Josh Katzowitz



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Baltimore Ravens (No. 5, AFC, 13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 12-4)

This is perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL today. No, strike the “perhaps.” It is the No. 1 rivalry for toughness, defensive struggles, bloody and broken noses and grit. We’re lucky enough to see these two AFC North squads play twice a year, but it’s always an extra treat to watch them face off in the playoffs.

These two had the same regular-season record, and when they met in Week 4 and Week 13, both contests were decided by three points – one win for the Ravens and one for the Steelers. LB Terrell Suggs said earlier this week that the winner of this game will triumph in the Super Bowl. He might very well be right.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



I hate going five out of five, but in the Divisional Playoffs, to get this matchup, there’s really no other choice.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Ravens offensive line vs. Steelers linebackers

For the second straight week, Baltimore’s tackles will have to figure out how to slow down the opponent’s 3-4 defense linebacking corps. Last week, the Chiefs sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco four times and put pressure on him throughout the game, and Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali made life very difficult for the Ravens offensive line.

Baltimore LT Michael Oher had a particularly tough time protecting his quarterback, and if he continues to struggle, Steelers LBs James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons will be happy to take shots at Flacco.

But it’s not just about pass protection. The offensive line also has to open holes for RB Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and if they can’t get into the second level of the Pittsburgh defense, the Ravens are going to have big problems. The Steelers allow only 62.8 rushing yards per game – by far, the best number in the league – and the two times these two teams played this year, Rice combined for 17 carries and 52 yards.

If the offensive line can’t help him improve on those numbers, it’s going to be very tough for Baltimore’s offense to find enough balance to beat the Steelers.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Those Troy Polamalu Head & Shoulders commercials are pretty hit or miss. Some are fairly funny; some are disastrous. But what I like best about them is that Polamalu is actually a pretty effective comedy actor. “You asked with your eyes, Trent. You asked with your eyes."



5. The Ravens will win if ...

QB Joe Flacco continues to hit TE Todd Heap every chance he gets. Flacco targeted Heap 13 times last week in Kansas City, and Heap caught 10 of those passes for 108 yards. If he finds the end zone a couple times vs. the Steelers, Baltimore could pull off its second-straight road playoff win.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

QB Ben Roethlisberger can pick apart the Ravens secondary. Which he should do. Aside from Reed, who’s still world class, and Chris Carr, Baltimore’s defensive backs corps is awfully mediocre.

7. Prediction: Steelers 16, Ravens 10



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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:26 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:32 pm
This comment has been removed.

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jhfgdters
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:57 pm
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Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

One thing for sure is the winner will have a big smile on their face as they advance. Their Saturday night will be a festive one to boot. The loser will feel a sense of morbidity that will haunt them until - next year knowing their hated rival ended their season in failure. Both deserve to advance to the AFC championship game, but only one will.



Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Relax and watch the game. If not for Cam Cameron's recklessness towards the end of their last game, the Ravens would've taken both regular season games.  Ravens can dominate the Steelers if they keep a muzzle on Cameron. I see a big day for the "U": McGahee, Lewis and Reed. Ravens 20-16.



Since: Jan 15, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2011 2:57 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

1-Ravens suck
2-Steelers rule and ravens suck
3-Ravens suck even more
4-Steelers will go to win superbowl
5-Ravens will suck
6-Ravens will suck as always
7-Steelers 21 Ravens 7(if not 0) Steelers WIN!!!!




























































































































































































Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Point 1.  Ravens 13 wins, Steelers 12 wins
Point 2.  This game is the one to watch
Point 3.  Bring in the Linebacker, Heap and Boldin will light it up
Point 4.  Polamalu is probable, but an achillies is game changing
Piont 5.  Ravens will win because of thier weapons.
Point 6.  Ben is not know for picking, Branch is hurt. Wilson and Webb all pro in college, they will step up!
Point 7   Prediction........Ravens win



Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Yo DC
I would have to agree with you 100% about Roethlisberger.  Too many people let fantasy football distort their perceptions of QB's.  Big Ben is easily as great as Manning or Brady.  And this is coming from a Seahawk fan.  One thing to take into consideration is the perfect fit of him in the Steeler system.  His grit and toughness in the pocket matches the smash mouth style of Pittsburgh on both sides of the ball.  Brady definitely get some defensive help with Belichick's game planning, but the offense is built around his arm.  Manning and Rodgers are comparable being that they are gunslingers who generally do alot on their own.  Green Bay's D is a hot unit right now, but still lack the pedigree.  The Pats and Steelers multilple rings, 5 in the past 10 years, speaks to the total team effort it takes to win championships.  The QB's are still the ones that drive the bus and know when it is time to deliver the goods, and only a few do it as good as Ben Roethlisberger.



Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

It's true that for some reason "Big Ben" doesn't get the media hype he deserves. I think part of it in recent times has to do with some of his "off field" behaivour (sadly it seems whether it's true or not, mud sticks). However, I think in the long run it won't matter & he'll be recognised as one of the best to have ever played. Can't wait for this game!



Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2011 9:38 am
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

DC Ryan.....true that brother. 

Here we go Steelers.  It feels like Christmas morning. 


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