Today's Matchups To Watch

December 14, 2008|By MIKE PRESTON

Steelers OLB James Harrison vs. Ravens OT Jared Gaither

Harrison has caused the Ravens a lot of trouble the past two seasons. He is one of the NFL's top pass rushers and has great speed, quickness and leverage. He is relentless in chasing down quarterbacks. Gaither has played well despite being bothered by a shoulder injury. He seems to progress every week, and is athletic and physical when run-blocking. His feet have gotten better when pass-blocking.

Edge:: Harrison:

Steelers OT Max Starks vs. Ravens DE-OLB Terrell Suggs

Starks is big and fairly mobile, but he should struggle against Suggs. Suggs seems to play better when he gets off to a fast start. He has speed and power, and can change directions. Suggs also works well with his hands and has improved his ability to use leverage. Suggs has to have a big game against Starks and get Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger moving in the pocket.

Edge: Suggs:

Steelers S Troy Polamalu vs. Ravens QB Joe Flacco

Flacco has to know where Polamalu is at all times. He moves around as much as Ravens S Ed Reed. Polamalu is great at defending the run, but opposing teams have been able to break a long one occasionally. Flacco can't commit turnovers and lose his poise. He played well against Pittsburgh in the first game except for a five-minute period in the third quarter.

Edge: Polamalu:

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