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Baltimore Ravens at Titans


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BALTIMORE RAVENS (12-5) at TENNESSEE TITANS (13-3) (Saturday, CBS, 4:30 PM ET)

STORYLINE: Turnover battle!

 

The takeaways could be flying in this one! Both teams excel in the category, finishing second (Tennessee, plus-14) and third (Baltimore, plus-13) this season in NFL turnover differential.

 

They are also quite similar on defense. Linemen who call for double-teams…quick linebackers who can rush or drop back into coverage…and ball-hawking secondaries.

 

The Titans’ KERRY COLLINS -- who can become the first QB in history to win at least one playoff game with three different clubs (Carolina and the New York Giants) -- was intercepted only seven times this season. Problem is, he goes against a defense led by S ED REED that topped the league in pickoffs with 26. The Ravens added four more in the Wild Card, with Reed snatching two (one for a TD) to give him two apiece in five of his last seven games.

 

But it certainly won’t be all defense. Each team packs a wallop of a running game. Rookie CHRIS JOHNSON teams up with LEN DALE WHITE (15 rushing TDs) for Tennessee and Baltimore brings it with the FB who could be a RB, 260-pound All-Star LE’ RON MC CLAIN (75 yards in the Wild Card), rookie RAY RICE and veteran WILLIS MC GAHEE.

 

NFL PLAYOFF FACTOID

 

SIXTH SEEDS ADVANCE: The triumphs last Sunday by sixth-seeded Baltimore and Philadelphia in the Wild Card round mark the second time in four years that both sixth seeds won in the first round. In 2005, sixth seeds Pittsburgh and Washington won, with the Steelers going on to win Super Bowl XL.

 

When Baltimore plays Tennessee, a rookie QB – the Ravens’ JOE FLACCO – will go against the longest-tenured QB in the playoffs, the Titans’ KERRY COLLINS (14 seasons).

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REED-ING THE QUARTERBACK: A large part of the success of the Baltimore Ravens’ defense can be attributed to its Pro Bowl safety ED REED. Reed had two interceptions, including a return touchdown, last week against Miami to bring his total to five interceptions in three playoff games.

 

The most interceptions per game in playoff history (min. three games):

 

NAME

INTERCEPTIONS

GAMES

INT/G

 

Ed Reed

5

3

1.67

 

Vernon Perry

6

4

1.50

 

Lindon Crow

3

3

1.00

 

Ken Gorgal

4

4

1.00

 

Aeneas Williams

6

6

1.00

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KERRY GOES FOR THREE: With a win Saturday over Baltimore, Tennessee Titans quarterback KERRY COLLINS -- who has the most tenure of all the 2008 playoff quarterbacks (14 seasons) – can become the first quarterback in history with at least one playoff win for three different teams.

 

Collins had one playoff win with the Carolina Panthers in 1996 and two with the New York Giants in 2000.

 

-- NFL --

 

DOMINATING DEFENSES: The playoff field in the AFC boasts the top three scoring defenses in the NFL (Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Baltimore) as well as the top scoring offense in the AFC (San Diego).

 

When San Diego travels to Pittsburgh on Sunday it will mark the first time in the NFL playoffs since Denver (top offense) faced Baltimore (top defense) in the 2000 AFC Wild Card round that a conference’s top scoring offense goes against the top scoring defense.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ROOKIES ON A ROLL: Baltimore Ravens rookie head coach JOHN HARBAUGH and his rookie quarterback JOE FLACCO can reach two milestones when they play the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

 

Flacco can become the first rookie quarterback to win his first two playoff games and Harbaugh can become only the fifth rookie head coach to reach that mark.

 

The rookie head coaches to win at least their first two playoff games:

YEAR

COACH, TEAM

WINS

 

1970

Don McCafferty, Baltimore Colts

3

 

1989

George Seifert, San Francisco 49ers

3

 

1977

Red Miller, Denver Broncos

2

 

2002

Bill Callahan, Oakland Raiders

2

 

2008

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens

1

 

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Trying to find a place to put more Titans information....

 

The Titans are

loaded with Pro Bowl talent – 14 players on their roster have earned trips to Hawaii, including 6 this season: DT Albert Haynesworth, SS Chris Hope and CB Cortland Finnegan for the defense, along with RB Chris Johnson, C Kevin Mawae and LT Michael Roos on the offense. The rookie Johnson led the Titans with 1,228 rushing yards on 251 carries (4.9 average). RB LenDale White added 773 more.

Five Tennessee players caught at least 30 passes with TE Bo Scaife leading the way with 58 and Johnson next at 43. FS Michael Griffin topped the Titans with 7 INTs, while Finnegan stole 5 more. Haynesworth, an elite inside tackle, led with 8.5 sacks. K Rob Bironas and P Craig Hentrich have each made the Pro Bowl – Bironas a year ago and Hentrich in 1999 and 2004. Along with Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Tennessee also beat the following playoff teams this season: Minnesota (30-17 on 9/28) and Indianapolis (31-21 on 10/27).

 

..............................Ravens......-- --Titans--

Category............ Stats..... Rank.. Stats.... Rank

Total Offense....... 324.0..... 18.... 313.6.... 21

Rush Offense....... 148.5...... 4..... 137.4..... 7

Pass Offense....... 175.5..... 28..... 176.2... 27

Points Per Game... 24.1...... 11..... 23.4.... 14t

Total Defense...... 261.1....... 2.... 293.6 .....7

Rush Defense....... 81.4........ 3.... 93.9....... 6

Pass Defense....... 179.7....... 2... 199.8...... 9

Points Per Game.... 15.3....... 3 ....14.6....... 2

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Here's some more facts...

 

RAVENS RUSH “D”

The Ravens’ defense allowed just 47 rushing yards in the Week 5 matchup, tied (10/26 vs. Oak.) for the fewest in a

game this season. Tennessee entered the game with the NFL’s No. 8 rush offense, averaging 137.0 yards per contest.

DEFENSIVE IN OWN TERRITORY

The Titans’ offense started 4 of its 10 drives in Ravens territory (on the 37, 17, 43 and 35). Amazingly, on those drives,

Tennessee only gained -1 yard and was held to just 3 points. (The FG occurred when the Titans’ started their drive on

Baltimore’s 17-yard line. Baltimore forced 2 punts and halted another push with a Chris McAlister INT on the other drives.) Conversely, Baltimore didn’t start a single drive in Titans territory.

NO SACKS ALLOWED

Baltimore did not allow a sack against the Titans. The game marked 1 of 5 times in 2008 (including last week’s Wild Card win) that the Ravens’ kept QB Joe Flacco clean.

 

Baltimore has allowed 10.8 points per game in 9 career playoff contests (including 9 last Sunday at Miami), ranking as the lowest opponent playoff scoring average since the 1970 merger.

 

In 6 playoff wins, the Ravens have allowed just 5.8 points per game. Baltimore has never permitted more than 10 points in a playoff win.

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I feel like this game is completely winable. We played them tough before and we're a much better team now. Tennesee on the other hand will be missing their pro bowl center and two of their key defensive lineman are banged up. They won't roll over for us, but this game is definitely within our grasp. It's gonna be a battle.

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It's a Ravens Invasion!

 

Callers to talk radio have been calling in all day from Nashville...unbelievable. They are saying the same thing, "Ravens fans everywhere!"

They called from their cars while on the road there, from restaurants ect.

 

Feel the Fever!

 

 

 

 

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Is anybody else feeling like they just won't get much sleep tonight?

 

Maybe it's just me, but I always have a hard time sleeping before some of the most exciting days of the year. It doesn't help that I have been sick for 2 weeks. I finally went to the doctor to get medicine that actually works.

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I know I won't get much sleep tonight... but that's because I just crashed in my hotel after driving for 12 hours.

 

We're going to try to get to the stadium early tomorrow... I expect there to be a lot going on before the game with our heavy turnout.

 

Now let's just hope Heap catches a few passes........ for first downs.

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The energy (Raven Fever) is getting off the charts.

I saw those "Road to Tampa" purple Ravens T-shirts on sale today.....

 

Pep Rallies, purple lights all over...if they win tomorrow there will be flags on every car on 695...:)

 

I forgot how much fun playoff football can be....

 

furst.jpg "This is great!"

 

 

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