Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
OffenseBaltimore’s young offensive line held together enough to let rookie QB Joe Flacco quickly develop into a stable leader, but one who threw only 14 touchdown passes. Most of the Ravens’ offense comes on the ground, where three backs — powerful Le’Ron McClain, shifty Willis McGahee and rookie Ray Rice — combined for more than 2,000 yards. ..... The Titans’ offense has been solid but not spectacular behind QB Kerry Collins, whose best attribute this year is that he hasn’t turned the ball over much. Tennessee’s best attack has been the combination of RBs Chris Johnson and LenDale White, but both have struggled against good defenses. WR Justin Gage can be a deep threat, and TE Bo Scaife has been reliable.
DefenseBaltimore’s second-half surge has come on the backs of LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed. The Ravens’ best offense comes from its defense, which had 26 interceptions and eight recovered fumbles. LB Terrell Suggs is a fierce pass rusher who was flagged for a controversial personal foul against Collins in Baltimore’s 13-10 loss during the regular season. ..... Tennessee also relies on its defense but does not put up the huge turnover numbers. With DT Albert Haynesworth and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch leading the way, Tennessee’s defensive line instead has been overwhelming, cutting off running lanes and pressuring quarterbacks.
Special TeamsBoth team’s kickers are solid, with an edge to Tennessee’s Rob Bironas, who made 29 of 33 field goals. Neither team has a great return threat.
CoachingExperience would seem to favor Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher, who has coached many postseason games and nearly won a Super Bowl nine years ago. But the Ravens’ John Harbaugh has revived the team in his first season with an aggressive but more reserved style than his predecessor, Brian Billick.
WHEN: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: LP Field, Nashville (68,798).
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy, mid-40s.
TV: Mostly cloudy, mid-40s.
RECORDS: Ravens (12-5, wild card); Titans (13-3, AFC South champions).
ANNOUNCERS: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf.
Ravens' Team Stats
Titans' Team Stats
Saturday, Jan. 3
Sunday, Jan. 4
Saturday, Jan. 10
Sunday, Jan. 11
Sunday, Jan. 18
NFC (FOX), 3 p.m.
AFC (CBS), 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 1
AFC vs. NFC, 6 p.m. (NBC)