Ravens' Game Plan
· Use more play-action. With the Steelers focusing most of their efforts on slowing down Baltimore running back Willis McGahee, the Ravens will use play-action early to take advantage of their aggressive linebackers. Look for Steve McNair to find Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton over the middle off play-action.
· Stop the perimeter running game.Willie Parker is second in the league in rushing, with most of his yards coming on off-tackle runs and tosses. Expect the Ravens to use Ed Reed or Dawan Landry as alley players (outside force) to force Parker to cut back into the teeth of the defense.
Steelers' Game Plan
· Attack the secondary. Despite the Ravens' lofty defensive ranking (second overall), they have been victimized repeatedly for big plays in the passing game. With Samari Rolle and Chris McAllister likely sidelined due to injuries, look for Ben Roethlisberger to take several shots down the field to Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward off double moves.
· Take away the quick game. McNair's return will mean a return to the short passing game with few deep shots. The Steelers will take away the short throws by pressing the receivers outside and forcing McNair to fit the ball into small windows.