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mesaSteeler
01-09-2011, 07:30 PM
Rematch of NFC North Foes Will Be Most Vicious NFL Divisional Playoff Game

Todd Jacobs, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jan 9, 2011
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6197994/nfl_divisional_playoffs_ravens_vs_steelers.html?ca t=14

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host NFL Wild Card Playoffs Weekend winners the Baltimore Ravens January 15th. The Baltimore Ravens
systematically destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs offensive mastermind Charlie Weis in an impressive defensive display by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the entire Baltimore Ravens defensive unit.

The Pittsburgh Steelers banged up players on offense and defense have had time to recover with a week off as the number two seed in the AFC. The NFL Divisional Playoffs match up between these two teams will feature two teams that are very familiar with each other and have played to three point or less deficits in the last four games.

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Defense

The Baltimore Ravens defense is not the best defense in the NFL but they are one of the most vicious teams in the league. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are not only talented against the pass they are the best at delivering bone jarring hits to separate their opponents from the ball.

Run defense is still the strong suit of this Baltimore Ravens defense but they are vulnerable to the long ball. Ed Reed could be pulled out of his usual deep middle coverage by having to give safety help on speedy Pittsburgh Steelers wide out Mike Wallace. Watch this match up closely.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers offense will need to kick into gear for the NFL Divisional Playoffs. Roethlisberger has struggled to involve his entire offense and spread the ball effectively on offensive drives this season. The Pittsburgh Steelers running game is better than it was at the beginning of the NFL season but it is still not consistent.

Mike Wallace is the one of the best deep threats in the NFL and the reason the Pittsburgh Steelers let Santanio Holmes go to the New York Jets. Hines Ward is still one of the best possession receivers in the NFL and Rashard Mendenhall has improved his running game as the season has progressed. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has the edge over the Baltimore Ravens defense.



Pittsburgh Steelers Defense vs Baltimore Ravens Offense
Defense is the reason the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the NFL Divisional Playoffs and Troy Polamalu is the key motor to this hard hitting aggressive unit. James Harrison and LaMaar Woodley are
big pieces in the Pittsburgh Steelers defense but when Polamalu is on the shelf this defense has suffered.

The Pittsburgh Steelers run defense is the best in the NFL and they are holding runners to less than 65 yards per game as they enter the NFL Divisional Playoffs. The Pittsburgh Steelers one weakness on defense is their corners. They are giving up 228 yards per game through the air and they have been known to give up the big play on defense.

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens offense stepped up against the Kansas City Chiefs defense led by five time Super Bowl defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Now Flacco, Ray Rice and company will face the best defense in the NFL.

The last two games between these two teams the score was 13-10 with the teams splitting the series. This game will follow the destructive pattern of these two teams and it will be smash mouth football for 60 minutes. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has the edge over the Baltimore Ravens offense.

Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5: Pick Against the Spread & Breakdown

The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook has made the Pittsburgh Steelers a favorite over the visiting Baltimore Ravens for the NFL Divisional Playoffs battle. Battle is the correct word for this game and it will be a brutal battle as always between these two AFC North teams. The Baltimore Ravens are 9-6-1 against the spread overall and they are 5-3-1 against the spread on the road.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-6 against the spread overall in the regular season and they finished the season 5-3 against the spread in their home Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger has struggled but is a different quarterback in front of his home crowd. Take the Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 points over the Baltimore Ravens.