Key Matchups

December 27, 2009|By MIKE PRESTON

Steelers WRs Hines Ward, above, and Santonio Holmes vs. Ravens CBs Chris Carr and Domonique Foxworth

Carr will start for Lardarius Webb, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament. Carr has speed and has improved since the start of the season, but he isn't very physical. Pittsbugh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will take turns going after Carr, making his first start this season, and Foxworth. Carr and Foxworth must bring their "A" games. Edge: Ward and Holmes:

Steelers CB Ike Taylor vs. Ravens WR Derrick Mason

Every team goes after Taylor, and he is still in shock after giving up so many big plays this season. Because Taylor will be off the line of scrimmage, Mason, above, will beat him numerous times with comeback routes. The Ravens will also take some shots downfield against Taylor. If quarterback Joe Flacco is accurate, this could be a high-scoring game. Edge: Mason:

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

Starks gets beaten regularly on the left side, even though he is the best the Steelers have to offer. He is big, is slow and has trouble with speed rushers. Suggs, above, isn't at the top of his game because of a knee injury, but he should be able to reach Roethlisberger a few times. If he can get constant pressure on Roethlisberger, this could be the game-changing matchup the Ravens need. Starks will probably get some help with Suggs. Edge: Suggs:

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