The NFL has to be as giddy as a school girl with their AFC Divisional matchups. The Ravens face their arch-rival the Steelers and Jets face theirs, the Patriots.
John Clayton of ESPN.com gave his early preview of the matchups and for the Ravens and Steelers, he thinks this third meeting is personal.
Get ready for old-school, hard-hitting football. Also expect a low-scoring game. Since 2007, the Ravens and Steelers have met eight times in the regular season with the scores averaging out to 18-17 in favor of the Steelers. The most points scored by one team in any one game was 27, accomplished by the Ravens — a 27-21 victory in 2007. This game is personal, though. “I’ve lost to Ben Roethlisberger seven times,” Suggs said. “He’s definitely my biggest problem I’m facing.” The key to these games is turnovers. Both defenses are designed to force turnovers. With another low-scoring game expected, the defense that wreaks the most havoc will likely push its team over the top.
Is there any better style of football than that described by Clayton?
While he didn’t give predictions, Clayton did give a nod to the veterans in the matchups, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. He even threw Joe Flacco in the “elite” category when previewing the games.
Of the AFC final four quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez is the only one who isn’t elite, but he’s 3-1 in playoff games.
If the Ravens defense shows up in Pittsburgh as it did in Kansas City, I think we all know the outcome for the terrible towel waving faithful.