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Saturday, January 15, 2011

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers' Perspective

Will the Steelers make some magic happen like this?

Top 10 Plays in NFL Playoff History 

Players to Watch

S Troy Polamalu:  Polamalu is officially listed as probable today.  If Polamalu had a broken ankle he would play today.  The Steelers-Ravens rivalry is one of the most physical rivalries in all of sports.  Troy changes the face of the Steelers' defense and makes plays all over the field.  Hobbled or not, Polamalu will have a huge impact and make a tough receiver like WR Anquan Boldin think twice about coming over the middle.

C Maurkice Pouncey - Pouncey has had an unbelievable rookie season and has been impressing everyone at the Steelers' organization knows he has a great future ahead of him.  Pouncey has a daunting task ahead of him controlling the middle of the Ravens' huge defense.

WR Mike Wallace - The Steelers must try the deep ball a few times, and Mike Wallace is the one to go to.  If he can beat the Ravens' aggressive deep once they will soften up and the Steelers run game will be much more effective.  The Steelers need to keep Terrell Suggs and the Ravens' pass rush off balance.

Matchup to watch -  Terrell Suggs vs. Steelers' tackles.  This should be a fun one.  Keep an eye on Suggs lining up from a seasoned, but aging, tackle in Flozell Adams.  Suggs has the ability to take over a game.  If Adams and Jonathan Scott can slow him down and the Steelers can mix up the run and the pass, the Steelers should win this game.

Why the Steelers will win - The Steelers are blessed with a great quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, and he simply continues to make plays.  His unbelievable ability to extend plays and keep his eyes downfield will come up huge in this game and the Steelers will win by a small margin.

Prediction - Steelers 21, Ravens 17

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