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What they're saying about the Ravens -- Jan. 12

Here's a look at what other media outlets are saying about the Ravens as they prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers:

• Don Banks of SI.com breaks down the possible Super Bowl XLV matchups. He puts Ravens-Falcons at No. 2.

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These birds of a different feather have a lot in common. There's the Matt Ryan- Joe Flacco storyline, with 2008's two first-round quarterbacks having careers that closely mirror each other's, and the coaching prowess of Mike Smith and John Harbaugh, who have combined for five playoff trips and six winning records since arriving in Atlanta and Baltimore at about the same time in early 2008. The Falcons and Ravens met in a Week 10 thriller this season in Georgia, with Atlanta squeaking past the Ravens 26-21 on Ryan's 33-yard scoring pass to Roddy White with 20 seconds remaining.

• FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager writes about the two intradivision matchups in the AFC -- Ravens-Steelers and New York Jets- New England Patriots -- including his thoughts on who will win each game.

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All things considered, in the AFC, the advantage has to go to the two home teams this weekend; both because of their recent victories in head-to-head matchups and their recent string of multiple season success over their opponents.

• Like similar lists over the past couple weeks, Adam Schein of FoxSports.com ranks the quarterbacks remaining in the NFL playoffs.

Flacco once again rocked steady in a big spot Sunday in Kansas City, taking advantage of a Dawan Landry pick and tossing a touchdown to Anquan Boldin to put the game out of reach at 23-7. It was a vintage Flacco day at the office, with 265 passing yards on 25-for-34 passing.

This is who Flacco is: a reliable, winning quarterback with the ability to take over when needed. He has taken the passing attack to heights never seen in Ravens history. Flacco has a gigantic arm and beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh at the gun with a late strike to T.J. Houshmanzadeh. Flacco has made the playoffs in three straight years. And with exception of the turnover against Troy Polamalu and the Steelers the last time Baltimore and Pittsburgh played, he doesn't make the big mistake in the big spot.

• FoxSports.com's John Czarnecki lists his expectations for the Ravens-Steelers matchup.

Finally, the Ravens will be in a slugfest with the Steelers. These are two of the biggest macho teams remaining in the NFL. And, naturally, most of their big stars play on defense. Baltimore won in Pittsburgh when Ben Roethlisberger was still suspended. In the rematch, the Ravens made a stupid decision to throw the ball on a second-and-five play with 3:25 left and Troy Polamalu caused Joe Flacco to fumble and Pittsburgh raced to the winning touchdown.

The Ravens are a good road team and their defense loves playing in Pittsburgh because they can hear Ray Lewis calling the signals. Baltimore has the superior defensive line, led by Haloti Ngata, and they must impose their will against a shaky Pittsburgh offensive line. They must rattle Roethlisberger just like they did Matt Cassel. Granted, Big Ben won't fold like Cassel did. But the Ravens must prevent him from throwing the deep bomb to Mike Wallace.

This figures to be the lowest scoring game of the weekend. Joe Flacco can't turn the ball over. It's as simple as that. The team that makes the fewest turnovers in Pittsburgh advances to the AFC title game. This will be an old throwback game to the days of the Steel Curtain.

• In the scouting report, USA Today predicts the Steelers will pull out a five-point victory over the Ravens.

Analysis: The Steelers allowed 62.8 rushing yards a game during the regular season, the third lowest in NFL history since the 16-game schedule was implemented in 1978. They'll keep Baltimore's offense on its heels and pressure QB Joe Flacco into multiple turnovers to swing a game of field position. Our pick: Steelers 17-12

• ESPN.com's James Walker wonders whether home-field advantage really matters in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

In their past six regular-season meetings, the home team is only 3-3. This season alone, both the Steelers and Ravens have won on the road.

That brings into question whether or not home-field advantage will play a factor when Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Steelers have uncharacteristically struggled at Heinz Field this year, posting a 5-3 record. A 7-1 road mark was the reason Pittsburgh captured the AFC North title and a first-round bye.

• Clifton Brown of Sporting News includes several Ravens in his list of AFC defensive players who change the playoff landscape.

Ray Lewis, MLB, Ravens. Great instincts and preparation keep him in the right place, and his emotion lifts his teammates.

[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]

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