Here's a look at what other media outlets are saying about the Ravens as they prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers:
• ESPN.com's David Fleming believes the Ravens and Steelers have a real rivalry -- not the fake one that the New York Jets and New England Patriots are trying to manufacture.
Look, the Patriots are the best team in the AFC. But the best two teams are the Steelers and the Ravens and their matchup should be the nastiest, most physical and spine-tingling violent game of the season. Why? Because they always are. It's fitting, I think, that together the purple Ravens unis and the Steelers' black helmets make up the color of a hematoma -- 'cause that's what's coming, folks. "Pure hatred" is how Steelers veteran wideout Hines Ward described the relationship between the teams.
Of course, there are also seven Lombardi trophies between these two. And since 2002 they have won seven AFC North titles. At this point Pats-Jets seems to be all about words. Steelers-Ravens is all about will. It's about attrition, violence and sheer force. You'll flip the channel during Pats-Jets because you're bored watching a team that can't pass the ball (NY) go up against a team that can't defend the pass (NE). You'll change channels during Steelers-Ravens just to catch a break from the carnage.
In the end, the sure-fire way you can tell that this rivalry stands above all others is that Steelers-Ravens has been so heated for so long and produced so many violent collisions, angry words and bizarre subplots I can't even remember anymore how the vitriol got started in the first place.
• Dan Graziano of FanHouse.com picks the Ravens as the only road team that he expects to win in this weekend's NFL playoffs.
Four more games this week, and I'm only picking one road team -- the first one on the list just below. Sure, any or all of the others could win, I guess, but the Ravens are the only one I think will win. The rest are listed in the order I believe they're most likely to surprise me.
1. Ravens at Pittsburgh. This has a lot to do with the fact that the Ravens won in Pittsburgh in Week 4. And while yes, I'm aware that Ben Roethlisberger didn't play in that game, to say that's why Baltimore won would be to apply revisionist history. The Steelers were 3-0 and on fire going into that game. They were crushing people no matter who they were using at quarterback. And the Ravens went in and beat them. The Ravens should have won the game in Baltimore in Week 13, too. It was their only home loss of the season, and they feel as if it was taken from them late. Their defense is clicking as it hasn't all year, forcing turnovers and generating offense off of other teams' mistakes. It'll be close, as it always is between these two, but I see Baltimore pulling through.
• Yahoo Sports' Les Carpenter says the Ravens expect quarterback Joe Flacco to win the big games now.
They think he can win big games now.
This is an important step for a quarterback. The best quarterbacks are the ones who not only can rely on a good defense to carry the team, but also can push the game themselves, winning it late if necessary. Slowly, over his three years in the NFL, Baltimore has handed more and more responsibility to Flacco. For the most part he has handled these tests well. But now comes the next one, the biggest one.
• ESPN.com's James Walker writes about Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward's respect for Ravens safety Ed Reed.
"He's a game-changer, same thing with Troy [Polamalu]," Ward said of Reed. "When you're playing good and you're a great player, great things just happen when you're around. [Reed] will pick up a fumble and take it to the house. A tipped pass, he will take it to the house or somebody will pitch it to him and he will take it to the house.
"Those guys just have a key knack for making plays when they need it the most, and he's right up there with Troy."
• Jenny Dell of ESPN.com discusses the Ravens-Steelers matchup in this video, including the predicted winner from Accuscore's simulations.
• The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares details on a "friendly wager" between Baltimore's Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien and Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik.
Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik has made a "friendly wager" with his counterpart in Baltimore on the outcome of the Steelers-Ravens playoff game on Saturday.
"In the unlikely event that the Ravens win," Zubik said in a statement issued today, "I will make a personal donation to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore."
Should Steelers win, Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will make a personal donation to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh.
[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]