3 Things

December 12, 2008|By Jamison Hensley

THREE THINGS THAT NEED TO GO RIGHT ...

1

Protect Joe Flacco. In the first meeting with the Steelers, the Ravens allowed their rookie quarterback to get sacked a season-worst five times. Pittsburgh has recorded 13 sacks in the past three games against the Ravens.

2

Win the fourth quarter. In a game that could be tight, the Ravens have to finish strong. The Ravens have outscored teams 98-33 this season in the fourth quarter. The Steelers have shut out their past two opponents 27-0 in the final period.

3

Establish the run. The Steelers have the top-ranked run defense, but they have looked more vulnerable recently. They gave up 88 yards to Dallas' Tashard Choice and 73 to New England's Kevin Faulk.

... AND THREE THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG

1

The Steelers continue their interception tear. Pittsburgh has made multiple interceptions in three of its past four games. Strong safety Troy Polamalu has picked off a pass in four straight games.

2

The Ravens lose the field-position battle. The Ravens' return game, which has struggled all season, faces the NFL's top-ranked kickoff coverage team and the second-ranked punt coverage squad.

3

Pittsburgh goes deep. The Ravens' defensive backs have to keep the Steelers receivers in front of them. In the past three meetings, the Steelers have thrown four touchdown passes of at least 30 yards.

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