Don’t kid yourself. Don’t demand the media’s respect. Don’t be shocked that the Ravens are early 5 point under dogs going into Sunday’s game. As a Baltimore fan you should be used to it by now. But if you aren’t let me set the record straight.
The Ravens aren’t supposed to be in this situation. Try and remember the days of early September. I have no problem telling you all that my prediction for the Ravens season was 4-12, my numbers were way off, but with a question mark at quarterback, a rookie head coach, and what looked like a difficult schedule I figured this would clearly be a rebuilding year for the Ravens.
I was wrong.
And I, obviously, don’t have a problem admitting it. I want to be as wrong as I can. I want another Lombardi Trophy.
Pittsburgh swept the Ravens in their meetings this year. On September 29 they won in Steel City 23-20 in overtime. Then they came to Baltimore and won again 13-9 on December 14.
The offensive match up is clearly one-sided. Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco meet Super Bowl Champion Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens are using a full back as their primary tailback in Le’Ron McClain. While he’s a Pro Bowl full back his resume is nothing compared to Willie Parker’s. For the Ravens to win on offense they need to avoid turning the ball over to Pittsburgh because the real matchup will come on defense.
The defensive match up is very similar. Pittsburgh’s number 1 defense versus Baltimore’s number 2. In Black and Gold is the defensive player of the year, James Harrison who pressures quarterbacks with his 16 sacks during the regular season. The Ravens have a player similar to that. His name is Terrell Suggs. For the Ravens to win on offense they have to shut down the run, which they always do, but they need to control the passing game. Hines Ward is better than any defensive back on the Ravens right now, but the Ravens can control the pass by putting Roethlisberger on his back. He needs to see motorcycle flashbacks all game long.
Don’t be offended. The Ravens earened their way to the AFC Championship by doing what they need to do to win, they can certainly do it one more time to make the big dance. Sunday will tell.