"Those guys are going to have good guys on the back end no matter what," Flacco said. "Obviously, those guys give you something that maybe not everybody in the league has. They are physical. Troy is a little bit unpredictable.
"They may not have that, but whoever they do put back there is going to be a good player, and they are going to come in and definitely make sure they have something to show us. We can't take them lightly, and we have to go out there and just execute the plays the way they are meant to be."
The X-factor in this game could be Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. The Steelers haven't had a shut down cornerback for years, and they still don't. The best they have is Ike Taylor.
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Pittsburgh's philosophy has been to give up the short and mid range passes and tackle well, but never let anyone get behind the coverage.
Tight end Dennis Pitta could have a big game and Smith as well before he lures Taylor in and the Ravens go over top.
"They're playing well," said Flacco of Pittsburgh starting cornerbacks Taylor and Kennan Lewis. "We'll see what happens on the back end, but those guys are going to have to come up, be physical, and they'll probably rely on those guys a good amount to play our guys pretty tight. I have a lot of confidence in our receivers. We've played Taylor a good amount over the years, and Lewis has started to show up a little bit. Obviously now, he is in there for the long haul, so it'll be exciting to get out there and get a feel for them [in] live action."
Before the Roethlisberger injury, it was his game to control because he was playing so well. But without him, the attention has to shift to Flacco.
If the Ravens can control the clock and make a few plays, they win. If Flacco plays like he has done throughout most of his career in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have no chance.
But if the Ravens play in Heinz Field like they've done on the road this season, they'll get beat and have wasted an excellent opportunity.
If the Ravens are a team in transition going from defense to offense, this is the perfect time to prove it.