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Ravens key to success starts with pass rush

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Although Ben Roethlisberger could have an easy time throwing darts against this depleted secondary, the pass rush will be key.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Enough has been said about how horrifically this secondary of the Baltimore Ravens has performed this season. They are currently ranked 24th in passing defense, and that number is very misleading due to the fact that they have faced two third-string quarterbacks over the last two weeks. Heading into Week 16, they were ranked 30th in the league.

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for a career-high 4,952 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. While the 32 touchdowns are tied for a career-high, the 4,952 yards is 624 yards more than his previous career-high of 4,328 yards that he set back in 2009.

Needless to say, the 11-year veteran who has been hit and banged up a number of times throughout his career, is still playing fantastic football. In fact, he performing better than he ever has. That is a scary thought about the future Hall of Famer.

The Ravens will have to find a way to limit his damage some how. Since they likely won't stop Big Ben with their secondary, they are going to have to use their fierce pass-rush. which is tied for second in the league with 49 sacks.

The front seven of the Baltimore Ravens has been very impressive this season. Not only are they four in the league in rushing defense, but they have multiple players that are among leader boards ion several different stats.

Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley and veteran Daryl Smith are both top ten in the league in tackles. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is third in the league with 17 sacks, while Terrell Suggs is tied for ninth with 12. To have two middle linebackers and two outside linebackers as good as the Ravens have is very rare and valuable.

With that being, said, these linebackers are going to have to show up on Saturday, because they are the Ravens only chance of stopping Big Ben. We all know that when the front seven applies pressure, the secondary's job becomes a lot easier.

That is exactly what the task at hand will be for this group come Wild Card weekend.