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DocJJ

Sorry, folks, but I just don't think we have a chance....

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The problem is that the Ravens defense is going to have to nearly shut out the Steelers offense because the Ravens offense just isn't going to score very many points. And I'm not saying that because I think the Steelers defense is that great. I'm saying that because of the nature of the Ravens offense. It's clear that the coaching staff isn't going to open it up for Flacco. The game plan is going to be run, run, run and occasionally take a shot deep. And while I admire McClain's tenacity and like the unbalanced line, the running game just isn't going to generate very many points against Pittsburgh's defense. Not only will the Ravens defense have little margin for error, the Ravens are going to also have to win the battle of special teams and turnovers, and connect on a long pass or two. If one of these things go in Pittsburgh's favor, the Ravens will lose.

Can the Ravens win? Sure. I would have thought the same thing about the Ravens chances going into last week's game against Tennessee. And the Ravens won.

But looked what happened:

- The Ravens held the Titans to 10 points.

- Chris Johnson, who was gashing the Ravens defense, got hurt in the 2nd quarter.

- The Ravens forced 3 turnovers (and committed none).

- The Titans missed a fg (granted it was a long attempt).

- Mark Clayton caught a severely underthrown 37 yard hail mary type pass to set up a fg. In general the entire offensive output consisted of 3 plays, a long pass to Mason (a beautiful pass), the catch by Clayton, and the pass to Heap on the "delay of game" play.

- The Titans botched two snaps which ended drives in Ravens territory.

And the Ravens still only won by 3 points.

Now the one thing that is glaringly different (compared to the Titans) is that the Steeler oline has been a weak point all season, until last week at least. The Titans had a strong o-line this year. So maybe the Ravens will be able to generate a consistent pass rush on Ben. They will need to. Unfortunately, the Ravens lack dynamic edge rushers except for Suggs, and he's injured. So we'll see what happens in this phase of the game.

But other than that, hope for a repeat recipe of what happened last week at Tenn.

I think that the Steelers will be comfortably ahead by the 4th quarter. By comfortable, I mean that they will be ahead by 2 scores (greater than a td). And I don't see Flacco being able to overcome that at this stage of his career. (And it could be a lot worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the game is out of hand.)

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The problem is that the Ravens defense is going to have to nearly shut out the Steelers offense because the Ravens offense just isn't going to score very many points. And I'm not saying that because I think the Steelers defense is that great. I'm saying that because of the nature of the Ravens offense. It's clear that the coaching staff isn't going to open it up for Flacco. The game plan is going to be run, run, run and occasionally take a shot deep. And while I admire McClain's tenacity and like the unbalanced line, the running game just isn't going to generate very many points against Pittsburgh's defense. Not only will the Ravens defense have little margin for error, the Ravens are going to also have to win the battle of special teams and turnovers, and connect on a long pass or two. If one of these things go in Pittsburgh's favor, the Ravens will lose.

Can the Ravens win? Sure. I would have thought the same thing about the Ravens chances going into last week's game against Tennessee. And the Ravens won.

But looked what happened:

- The Ravens held the Titans to 10 points.

- Chris Johnson, who was gashing the Ravens defense, got hurt in the 2nd quarter.

- The Ravens forced 3 turnovers (and committed none).

- The Titans missed a fg (granted it was a long attempt).

- Mark Clayton caught a severely underthrown 37 yard hail mary type pass to set up a fg. In general the entire offensive output consisted of 3 plays, a long pass to Mason (a beautiful pass), the catch by Clayton, and the pass to Heap on the "delay of game" play.

- The Titans botched two snaps which ended drives in Ravens territory.

And the Ravens still only won by 3 points.

Now the one thing that is glaringly different (compared to the Titans) is that the Steeler oline has been a weak point all season, until last week at least. The Titans had a strong o-line this year. So maybe the Ravens will be able to generate a consistent pass rush on Ben. They will need to. Unfortunately, the Ravens lack dynamic edge rushers except for Suggs, and he's injured. So we'll see what happens in this phase of the game.

But other than that, hope for a repeat recipe of what happened last week at Tenn.

I think that the Steelers will be comfortably ahead by the 4th quarter. By comfortable, I mean that they will be ahead by 2 scores (greater than a td). And I don't see Flacco being able to overcome that at this stage of his career. (And it could be a lot worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the game is out of hand.)

Good anaylysis.

The key to this game is going to be how we control the TOP. We need to keep drives alive by gaining yardage and becoming unpredictable.

This defense is tired and hurting, we need to keep them off of the field as much as possible.

I think we will need Pittsburgh to make some mistakes on Sunday.

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I agree with Oriole Way.

We should have handled Tennessee much easier than we did but they called the game scared and didn't allow Flacco to make plays in the red zone.

I don't think Flacco should throw much more than 20 times this weekend but those 20 throws shouldn't just be in between the 20s. They need to allow him to make plays. Trust the kid.

Also, some gadget plays would be good as well....Maybe the wildcat stuff from time to time. Just try to mix it up.

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Its amazing how many times I've heard that a team's offensive line is banged up, aren't playing well, or a key cog is missing. Then a few days later when the Ravens play then they do just fine. If the Ravens don't get pressure on "Ben" then its going to be a LONG game. If they force him from the pocket but still don't get hits on him or miss chances for sacks, it will be a LONG game. Suprisingly Ben is tough to bring down.

Hopefully McClain will take a few shots b/c we need him healthy.

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I agree with Oriole Way.

We should have handled Tennessee much easier than we did but they called the game scared and didn't allow Flacco to make plays in the red zone.

I don't think Flacco should throw much more than 20 times this weekend but those 20 throws shouldn't just be in between the 20s. They need to allow him to make plays. Trust the kid.

Also, some gadget plays would be good as well....Maybe the wildcat stuff from time to time. Just try to mix it up.

I agree. Flacco needs to step up his game. The Steelers know we're going to run the ball. Maybe some play action passes would do the trick. We still have a ace in the hole. If the pass rush becomes too much, we have Troy Smith to win with his arm and legs.

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I agree. Flacco needs to step up his game. The Steelers know we're going to run the ball. Maybe some play action passes would do the trick. We still have a ace in the hole. If the pass rush becomes too much, we have Troy Smith to win with his arm and legs.

I highly doubt that we'd rely on Smith to win the game for us, and I don't think he's capable of winning the game for us. Sure he's good for a few mix it up plays, but he's not someone we'll rely on to win the game.

EDIT: After rereading, I think you might have meant that he's good for mix it up plays. My apologies if that was the case.

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I agree. Flacco needs to step up his game. The Steelers know we're going to run the ball. Maybe some play action passes would do the trick. We still have a ace in the hole. If the pass rush becomes too much, we have Troy Smith to win with his arm and legs.

Just a little quibble. The Ravens actually run a lot of play action already. (Which they should, since they obviously run enough to set it up.)

I also didn't mean to say Flacco needs to step up his game. What I meant to say is that the coaching staff is likely going to have to give him a few more chances. So far, they have not. Now, they may give him more chances and it may backfire. But if they don't give him a few more chances, they are likely going to have to win nearly every other phase of the game.

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What happens if Flacco has a big game? He has to complete 70% of his passes for the Ravens to win. The running game is banged up. I hate the fact that the whole game is riding on a rookie QB. Ravens D+ turnovers+Big game from Flacco= win.

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The more I think about this game, the more I think it won't be close.

1. 18 straight games without a break

2. Defense is banged up. Rolle is out, Suggs is a game time decision, the rest of the defense is gassed.

3. McClain is banged up on offense

4. Steelers have had more rest

I'd like to think this game will be close but I'm starting to see it like the prognosticators, meaning the Steelers could win by 10-14 pts.

I just don't know how much the defense has in the tank and I'm not sure the offense can score.

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You know what I'm actually starting to become more optimistic about our chances as the game draws closer. I know how everything looks on paper. I said earlier this week, in this thread, I though the odds were heavily stacked against us but there is something special about this team. And a lot of times when you use that phrase, "something special", it's felt that the team is fortuitous and playing over their heads. However we are legit, I think we are a very good team in the midst of something special and usually that's a winning combination.

Not that I think the Steelers don't and won't take us seriously but this has a trap game feel to it and Pittsburgh has a recent history of playing poorly at home in AFC Championship games. I'm certain that this Ravens team, as beat up as they are, is going to give the Steelers everything they have left in the tank. Maybe it won't be enough, but one thing I've learned is not to underestimate this years team.

Edited by ccbird

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We need to limit our defense's time on the field. Not only do we need to keep them somewhat fresh for the fourth quarter because they're fatigued, we have to ensure there's no opportunity for Ryan to take his foot of the gas.

In the last matchup in Baltimore, we had the game in hand until we let the Steelers march down the field, 10-20 yards per play. Bad TD call or no, no one is going to win with that game plan.

My hope is that half-way though the season the team realized they were pretty good and they decided to hold some things back. That, at least, would explain the Giants game and that Steelers' drive.

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The more I think about this game, the more I think it won't be close.

1. 18 straight games without a break

2. Defense is banged up. Rolle is out, Suggs is a game time decision, the rest of the defense is gassed.

3. McClain is banged up on offense

4. Steelers have had more rest

I'd like to think this game will be close but I'm starting to see it like the prognosticators, meaning the Steelers could win by 10-14 pts.

I just don't know how much the defense has in the tank and I'm not sure the offense can score.

I love it! Our teams usually play their best and pull off upsets when you're the most negative.

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Not that I think the Steelers don't and won't take us seriously but this has a trap game feel to it and Pittsburgh has a recent history of playing poorly at home in AFC Championship games. I'm certain that this Ravens team, as beat up as they are, is going to give the Steelers everything they have left in the tank. Maybe it won't be enough, but one thing I've learned is not to underestimate this years team.

I can't imagine this game will be a trap game for Pittsburgh. Maybe if Miami had made it to the AFC Championship game, but how can you have a trap game against your biggest rival in a game that sends you to the Super Bowl?

Pittsburgh can definitely lose this game on Sunday, but it won't be because they overlooked Baltimore.

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