Week 15: Ravens vs Steelers Preview

Opening thoughts:

On my post yesterday, I blogged about Flacco and dealing with pressure,  I think if he can give up the ball only once or less, the Ravens will have a great chance at winning the game.  I’m  a big fan of Flacco, but something just isn’t there with him against top pass rushers.  Hopefully he can turn that around in today’s game.

I firmly believe Sam Koch is the best punter in the NFL.  Not that it really matters that much, I just wanted to get that out there.  Speaking of special teams though, I love how Yamon Figurs has become a bigger part of the passing game, but he needs to get out of his returning funk this week to get ready for the playoffs.  Matt Stover has been great again this year, and seeing Steve Hauschka kick has made me feel fine about losing Stover, maybe even this year.

Playoff Implications:

Pittsburgh can clinch the division and a 1st-round bye with a win today, while the Ravens can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Jets and Pats loss or tie, a Pats and Dolphins loss or tie, or a Dolphins and Colts loss or tie.  Basically, they have to win today to have a shot to clinch this week.

Injury Report:

Out: Marvel Smith (PIT, T); Brett Keisel (PIT, DE)

Doubtful: Marcus Maxwell (BAL, WR); Ray Rice (BAL, RB)* Game-Time Decision

Questionable: Carey Davis (PIT, RB)

Probable: James Harrison (LB, PIT); Troy Polomalu (PIT,S); Mark Clayton (BAL, WR); Yamon Figurs (BAL, WR); Jared Gaither (BAL, T); David Hale (BAL, G); Jim Leohnard (BAL, S); Derrick Mason (BAL, WR); Ed Reed (BAL, S); Samari Rolle (BAL, CB); Matt Stover (BAL, K)

Prediction

Ravens: 23 Steelers: 21

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