Football is a team game. I understand that.

You are only good as the unit as a whole – or something like that.


But one player's performance can make a major difference, especially if that player is in a key "skill" position.

Ray Rice set the tone on Sunday with his spirit-crushing touchdown in the game's first minute. Terrell Suggs and Chris Carr also stepped up at the right times and certainly were big reasons why the Ravens embarrassed the Patriots.

Now, Saturday evening it will be a new game, a new stage, a new opportunity.

And I am wondering whom will have the biggest influence on whether the Ravens' win or lose – on the Ravens' side that is.

If Peyton Manning is at the top of his game, the Ravens are likely packing up and going home next week. We all understand that.

But what about on Baltimore's end?

Is there a Ravens' player whose performance will best dictate how the team does against the Colts?

The easy answer is quarterback Joe Flacco, but he was non-existent against the Patriots and it didn't matter. And I don't see the game plan changing dramatically in Indianapolis (although I am sure there will be an attempt at better offensive balance).

So here's my call: safety Ed Reed. A healthy Reed makes the cornerbacks and the entire secondary better. And Reed swarming around might just make the unflappable Manning hold the ball an extra nanosecond. And that could – just saying could, mind you -- give the Ravens' pass rush the opening they need to be disruptive.

Again, I realize one man may not change the entire fate of Saturday's football game. But one player could go a long way into determining it.

Daily Think Special: Whose play will be key for the Ravens to beat the Colts on Saturday?