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hawaiiansteel
12-05-2010, 07:45 PM
Cris Collinsworth breaks down five keys to Steelers-Ravens


http://nbcsportsmedia3.msnbc.com/j/NBCSports/Sections/NFL/Photos/1205_Ben_Lewis.grid-5x2.jpg

Linebacker Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense will seek to get pressure on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been wearing a boot in practice.

BY CRIS COLLINSWORTH
NBC Sports
updated 8:52 a.m. ET Dec. 5, 2010


We have a great game on Sunday Night Football. Al and I called this game last year and it was a classic. So here are a few keys for this key divisional game:

1) QUARTERBACK PRESSURE ON GIMPY ROETHLISBERGER: Ben Roethlisberger is wearing a boot when not practicing to protect a foot that was broken years ago, but Ben doesn't know when it happened. He re-injured it against New England and heard it "pop" against Buffalo. He practiced all week so he should be ready to go, but so should the Ravens pass rush. If you read that the opposing QB is in a boot, you try to kick him with your own boot. Terrell Suggs has more sacks of Roethlisberger than any other player. Suggs was just named defensive player of the month and is primed for this one.

2) CAN RASHARD MENDENHALL GET IT GOING AGAINST RAVENS DEFENSE? Mendenhall is coming off the most carries of his life, with 36. He never had that many in high school or college. He rushed for a season high 151 yards against the Bills. However, in the 4 games he has played against the Ravens he has never rushed for 100 yards and was held under 40 twice. There is hope however, this Ravens defense is allowing 4.2 yards per carry and is ranked 17th. No Ravens defense in the last 13 years has finished out of the top 10 in rush defense and has finished in the top 5 in 11 of those years. Plus, Ray Lewis broke Mendenhall's shoulder during Mendenhall's rookie year. Pittsburgh has to run to help Ben see fewer blitzes.

3) TWO OF THE GREATEST SAFETIES OF ALL TIME GO AT IT: Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed have combined for 74 interceptions in their career. What is remarkable is that Ed Reed taught Polamalu all he knows about how to disguise coverages at the Pro Bowl. Reed said he could see the results the following year in Polamalu's game. You think Reed just forgot he played for the Steelers? Both guys have more freedom to make plays than anybody playing their positions in the NFL. A defensive score to win it is a very strong possibility.

4) WILL THE RAVENS PLAY A SPREAD OFFENSE AGAINST THE STEELERS? Steelers' fans know that both New England and Buffalo gave the mighty Steelers defense trouble by spreading them out. You force Polamalu away from the line of scrimmage and get LBs James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley in coverage instead of attacking your QB. The Ravens run the spread in the two minute, but will they change their basic style and go spread? Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain has a sprained ankle and is questionable for the game. He did practice some on Friday. Do the Ravens believe in Joe Flacco enough to expose both edges and spread the Ravens out? In the first game Flacco was sacked only once as the Ravens used max protection and two man routes. The spread offense would be a complete reversal of a strategy that won in Pittsburgh.

5) CAN ANQUAN BOLDIN AND TJ HOUSHMANDZADEH MAKE THE TOUGH CATCHES OR WILL MIKE WALLACE BURN THE RAVENS DEEP? The Ravens felt they had to upgrade their wide receivers to find guys that could make tough catches against divisional opponents in late season games. They wanted tough strong guys to play the Steelers. Houshmandzadeh caught the game winner in the first game on an out-and-up with 20 seconds to play. Mike Wallace had chances big plays in the first game, but Charlie Batch couldn't throw if far enough. Ben Roethlisberger has plenty of arm if he can survive the pressure.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/40516161/ ... _football/ (http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/40516161/ns/sports-sunday_night_football/)

RuthlessBurgher
12-05-2010, 10:18 PM
Ravens look to rough up Roethlisberger?

You mean, like, breaking his nose, perhaps?

hawaiiansteel
12-05-2010, 10:22 PM
Ravens look to rough up Roethlisberger?

You mean, like, breaking his nose, perhaps?

http://thebiglead.fantasysportsven.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Big-Bens-nose-joins-Owen-Wilson-fan-club.jpg

Big Ben takes a shot to the honker

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on December 5, 2010, 8:49 PM EST


It didnít take long for Ravens-Steelers to turn into another slobber-knocker.

Ben Roethlisberger took a shot to the face (from Haloti Ngata) on a third down played that appeared to break his nose. The Steelers say itís not broken, but it was certainly bloodied and bent in a way that nature didnít intend.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... he-honker/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/12/05/big-ben-takes-a-shot-to-the-honker/)