Ravens – Steelers preview

January 14, 2011 | John West

Some things to look for in this Saturday’s game.

Big plays. It seems as thought each one of these games all come down to the same thing, which teams makes either the most big plays, or the team that makes the last big play. Both games this year offer perfect example of what I am talking about, but let’s go back a little further. Remember that AFC Championship game 2 years ago. I forget the backup CB who did it, but a Raven tee’d off and hit a Steeler on the last punt of the game, for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty , giving Ben 15 more yards we couldn’t afford to give him. The Ravens have to make one more big play than the Steelers.

Contain Mike Wallace. Damn, this kid is fast. I remember once somebody talking about just how fast Deion Sanders was. They said “He’s as fast as he needs to be”. That’s how fast Mike Wallace is, and it’s darn scary. He hasn’t burned us yet for the big TD, but you can see it when you watch him play, he can get behind any defense. I just hope Ed handles him.

There is a stat out there that says when the Ravens rush with 4 or less, Ben has a QB rating of 62, with 1 TD and 3 INT’s. When the Ravens rush 5 or more, Ben has a QB rating of 121, with 4TD’s and 0 INT’s. So, when you see the Ravens only rush 3 or 4 all game long, don’t freak out and scream “Why aren’t the Ravens blitzing?” They aren’t because it doesn’t work against Ben, so stop screaming it.

Every game this year, the Ravens have had a lead late in the third quarter and into the fourth. Only one time this year, last weeks game against KC, have the Ravens taken the ball in this situation and ran off an 8+ minute long touchdown drive to pretty much seal the game. It was a thing of beauty. If we find ourselves in this position again, we need to have a season defining drive like this again.

Suggs be Suggs. Terrell is playing like an NFL defensive player of the year candidate and he needs at least one more game in him. When Terrell plays like the beast he is, the Ravens can beat anybody.

Our new long snapper hasn’t made any mistakes in the two weeks he’s been on the team. That needs to go to 3 weeks of perfect play. There is no margin of error for this, at all.

Overall, I like our chances. Pittsburgh is a real good team, and damn that Ben. He always seems to find a way to escape our pressure and find a wide open receiver. We have to stop all of these plays. I think we will give up one, but still hold on and win the game.

Final Score is Baltimore 27-16 win.