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Five things to watch: Ravens v. Panthers

When the 6-3 Ravens take the field in Charlotte on Sunday — 10 days removed from their disappointing loss to the Falcons — they are expected to tee off on the 1-8 Panthers.

Here are five things to keep your eye on in what could quickly become a snoozefest:

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1. Who is Brian St. Pierre?: Asked what he knows about quarterback Brian St. Pierre, who was signed to the Panthers practice squad last week and will surprisingly start Sunday, Terrell Suggs told reporters, "I know how to get after his ass." I can't believe the Panthers are going with the nomadic St. Pierre under center over 2010 sixth-round pick Tony Pike. Either way, the Ravens have a chance to get their pass defense back on track Sunday. They will still have to watch out for wideout Steve Smith, who will make them pay if they keep missing tackles.

2. Don't sleep on the Panthers secondary: One of the few bright spots for the Panthers this season has been their pass defense, which ranks fifth in the NFL even though they have just 13 sacks in their first season without Julius Peppers. "They've got some guys in the back end that can play," receiver Derrick Mason said of the Panthers' secondary. They have 11 interceptions, too, so Ravens QB Joe Flacco must be careful.

3. Let's see some Stallworth: If the Ravens can build a lead and pad their stats — hello, Ray Rice — look for the Ravens to give more snaps to wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (especially with Derrick Mason playing with a twice-broken finger). Stallworth had two carries on end-arounds for 34 yards against the Falcons, but he has yet to make a catch in a Ravens uniform.

4. Panthers pounding the rock: Carolina ranks 24th in the NFL in rushing offense, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the Panthers "run the ball as well as anybody in the league." He must have been looking at tape from last season. The Panthers average 3.6 yards per carry, starter DeAngelo Williams is out for the season and his primary backup, Jonathan Stewart, has been mostly ineffective when healthy. Mike Goodson, who ran for 100 yards last week, could get the start. But if the Ravens can build an early lead, they won't have to worry much about the Panthers' fourth-stringer coming Sunday.

5. Finish them: It doesn't have to be a flawless victory, but the Ravens need to show a killer instinct against a Panthers team that Carolina linebacker Jon Beason said is "just playing for pride." The Ravens are 14-1 against losing teams under Harbaugh, and if they play focused football, they can make it 15-1 without forcing fans to sweat it out in the closing minutes like they did against the now 1-8 Bills.

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