Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Division Showdown: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans- Saturday 4:30 PM ET on CBS

We now reached the AFC portion of our preview. The Ravens, the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs head on the road to face the Titans. These two faced each other in week five of the 2008 season. The Titans won a close 13-10 game. An Alge Crumpler 11-yard touchdown catch with less than two minutes left in the game made the difference for the Titans.

We could talk about the Titans defense and the Chris Johnson-LenDale White duo, but Kerry Collins brings something to this team that neither have. I of course am talking about playoff experience. Collins is money in the postseason. He led the Carolina Panthers to an NFC Title game during the '96 season. He also led the Giants to the Super Bowl during the 2000 season, losing to the Ravens. Vince Young might still be the future of this franchise, but for now Collins is calling the shots in the playoffs.

For the Ravens, we have many different avenues we can go, but we can't emphasize their defense enough. The Ravens D has finished in the top 10 for yards given up in nine out of the last 10 seasons. Also, they've finished in the top 10 for points given up in eight of the last 10 seasons.

This is a tough defense that has been raised by the likes of Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan and now Rex Ryan. All three have an impressive defensive record and are the biggest reason why the Ravens are one of the best defenses in the NFL since the late 90s.

Pick: This will most likely be another close game. However, there is no denying the Ravens are on fire right now. The Titans started the season 10-0, but went 3-3 in the final six games. The Ravens have a better defense and that will be the difference. I'm picking the Ravens.

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