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mesaSteeler
11-06-2011, 08:59 AM
Ravens vs. Steelers: Inside the Game
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/ravens-vs-steelers-inside-the-game/article_1e53d82c-0880-11e1-9333-0019bb30f31a.html
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 8:59 am

By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | 0 comments

RAVENS (5-2) vs. STEELERS (6-2)

8:20 p.m. at Heinz Field (65,500)

TV

NBC (locally WPXI, Channel 11)

Al Michaels, play-by-play; Cris Collinsworth, analysis; Michele Tafoya, sideline reporter

TODAY'S STORYLINE

It's only Week 9, but this game has huge playoff implications. If the Ravens (5-2) win, they will in essence have a two-game lead over the Steelers in the AFC North because of a 2-0 head-to-head advantage. That's the first tie-breaker criteria for playoff seedings. But if the Steelers (6-2) win, they would still have the best record among all AFC team. If the playoffs began today based on current standings, the Ravens would not even qualify as a wild card.

STAT SPEAK

7-1: That's Ben Roethlisberger's record against the Ravens in games played at Heinz Field.

INJURY REPORT

In all likelihood, the Steelers will be without two of their four starting LBs. LaMarr Woodley (hamstring), the team leader with nine sacks, is out. James Farrior (calf) is questionable and probably won't play. James Harrison is probable and likely will start after missing four games with an eye injury.

Also out for the Steelers are G Doug Legursky (toe) and WR Emanuel Sanders. The Steelers list Sanders in the injury report with an undisclosed knee injury. But he was in Texas on Saturday for his mother's funeral. Beside Farrior, also listed as questionable is WR Hines Ward (ankle).

For the Ravens, wide receiver Lee Evans will miss his sixth straight game with an ankle injury. Starting left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) is questionable.

QUOTEWORTHY

"Without leadership, there is chaos. So you know where it starts with our Ravens' defense? It's five-two (Ray Lewis). And then we follow. After him, it's Ed (Reed). Then it's me, and after that you have Haloti (Ngata) and nine-five (Jarret Johnson). We can all lead. But there is a chain of command."

-- Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs

BETTING LINE

The Steelers are favored by 3 points.

WHY THE STEELERS WILL WIN

Let's start with the quarterbacks. Pittsburgh has the red-hot Ben Roethlisberger, who's won his last five starts against the Ravens at Heinz Field. Baltimore has the terribly inconsistent Joe Flacco, who's 0-3 at Heinz Field in games Roethlisberger starts. Secondly, the Steelers are 10-3 against the Ravens at Heinz Field. Finally, the Steelers' injury situation at linebacker has improved. It's not encouraging that Jason Worlds will start in place of LaMarr Woodley. But now that James Harrison is expected to play, Lawrence Timmons can move back inside. So it will be ...

Steelers 20, Ravens 13