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Game 5: Titans @ Ravens

In 2006, the Tennessee Titans took the Ravens to the brink before falling on a missed chip shot field goal, 27-26. In that game, Titans QB Vince Young played like an All-Pro and had the Titans comfortably in the lead deep into the second half. Unfortunately for Tennessee fans, Young returned to rookie form and the Ravens remembered that they were a contender. It was a great comeback and a great win for the Ravens, but that was two seasons ago.

Last year, the Titans made the playoffs as a Wild Card team due to their surprisng 10-6 regular season. Young showed that he not only has the pure physical talent but also is learning to be a decent QB as well. However, defenses would prefer to keep him in the pocket and make him beat them with his arm rather than let him scramble and beat them with his legs. The Ravens defense is well suited to keep him off course all day long. Young will be facing one of, if not the fastest defense, sideline to sideline, in the league. This won't totally prevent him from getting his yards by scrambling, but he will pay the price for his efforts. By the end of the game, he will be forced to use his arm and that is where and when the Ravens defense will take over.

Baltimore will pound the ball between the tackles by double teaming their big men (Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch), along with crisp, short passes and the occasional long one to keep the secondary honest. This will be a war, as the Titans defense is significantly improved and no longer has to worry about the distraction of Adam "Pacman" Jones (I'll continue to use his nickname even though he wants us all to call him just "Adam"). The game should be filled with field goals and may just come down to two things. Who makes the most mistakes on offense, turning the ball over to these two offenses which are both their teams' weak links, and which kicker deals with the pressure of making the game winner. Both placekickers have great accuracy, although Tennessee's Rob Bironas has the stronger leg for the distance kicks. However, since the Ravens are at home, I'm going with the steady veteran, Matt "It's not over til it's" Stover to hit the game winner at the final whistle.

Ravens: 16  Titans: 13

Season Record:  3-2