Changing faces in Pittsburgh

When the Ravens renew their fierce rivalry with the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh, they will have as many as 11 different starters from the AFC championship game last Jan. 18. But that's not the only contrast.

Eleven months ago, they went into Pittsburgh having won four straight games and seven of the previous eight. In Week 16, they'll go in with a two-game win streak, but only five wins in their last 11.


That's not to say this group can't do what last year's couldn't. It will come down to handling Ben Roethlisberger and making the plays on offense the Ravens have made the past two weeks. But that's an alarming number of changes.

Here's a rundown of the players who started the championship game but were not starters as of Sunday against Chicago:



Left tackle Jared Gaither -- injured; it will be critical to get him back this week. Replaced by Michael Oher.

Center Jason Brown -- left in free agency. Replaced by Matt Birk.

Right guard Chris Chester -- technically a starter against Chicago as a second tight end. Replaced by Marshal Yanda.

Right tackle Willie Anderson -- retired. Replaced now by Oniel Cousins.

Running back Willis McGahee -- a backup to Ray Rice.


Defensive tackle Justin Bannan -- an injury replacement for Kelly Gregg, who is back this year.


Inside linebacker Bart Scott -- left in free agency. Replaced now by Tavares Gooden or Dannell Ellerbe.

Left cornerback Fabian Washington -- on injured reserve. Replaced by Chris Carr or Cary Williams, who started against Chicago.

Right cornerback Frank Walker -- Walker filled in for Samari Rolle in the title game, and is a reserve now. Replaced by Domonique Foxworth.

Strong safety Jim Leonhard -- left in free agency. Replaced by Dawan Landry.

Free safety Ed Reed -- missed the last three games with a hip injury. Replaced by Tom Zbikowski.