You can be sure that when the Baltimore Ravens hit the field for Saturday's AFC Divisional Playoff Game at the Pittsburgh Steelers, they will have put a ton of time into putting together a game plan, barely catching a wink of sleep for their almost twenty coaches and assistants. Hopefully, the playbook will continue some new things that the Steelers, who are very familiar with what the Ravens can and will do, have never seen before.
However, the game really comes down to one specific thing on each side of the ball. On offense, the Ravens need to protect the ball and on defense, the Ravens need to create turnovers. History in this fierce rivalry has proven that the team that makes the fewest mistakes usually win this game, much less every one. The winning margin in the last six regular season games (3 points or less) makes this detail even more critical, and the team that usually makes the final mistake is the one that ends up wondering "what if?"
If Ravens QB Joe Flacco can hold onto the ball under pressure and not throw interceptions that might either stop a drive or set up the Steelers deep in our territory for an easy score, the offense should be able to move the ball and put some points on the scoreboard. Conversely, if the defense can set up the offense deep in Steelers territory or stop Pittsburgh when they are in scoring position, then they will have put the team in position to win and advance to the AFC Championship Game.
If this happens, then we will all become New York Jets fans for the second game in a row and hope they upset the New England Patriots to host the AFC Championship Game here in Baltimore!