Commentary

Quick preview of divisional matchups

Scouts Inc. gives a quick breakdown of each divisional playoff game.

Updated: January 7, 2009, 10:46 AM ET
By Scouts Inc. | ESPN.com

After watching all the film and critiquing each team left in the playoffs, Scouts Inc. gives a quick preview of the four divisional matchups.

No. 6 Baltimore at No. 1 Tennessee
Ravens' key to victory
The Ravens are certainly a run-first, pass-second offense and they like to control the game with their physical ground attack. The best way for Baltimore to neutralize Tennessee's explosive offense is to keep it off the field by dominating time of possession. This offense comes right at you and dares defenses to stop it. However, they will come at you in a lot of ways: the Ravens will show you an unbalanced line -- usually to the left -- with three big offensive tackles drive blocking; they will use their elephant package with three backs -- Lorenzo Neal, Le'Ron McClain and Willis McGahee -- in the game at the same time; and they will also line up massive DT Haloti Ngata at tight end as a lead blocker. The Ravens' offense leads the league in time of possession and they will come right at Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and DT Albert Haynesworth because both are coming off of injuries.

More Previews

Scouts Inc.'s previews of the other three divisional games. Insider Insider

Titans' key to victory
The Titans face the most opportunistic defense in the NFL -- the Ravens forced 34 turnovers during the regular season, best in the league. Plus, they forced five more against Miami -- a team that normally protects the ball better than anybody. For the most part, the Titans do a nice job of protecting the football, but against this Ravens defense there is little margin for error. Baltimore approaches each game with a mentality that it can score at least one touchdown on defense. Titans QB Kerry Collins gets excellent pass protection from his offensive line, but he will see an aggressive blitz package, so if he doesn't see anything open he must be satisfied with throwing the ball away. When the Titans run the ball, the backs must secure it and not let the Ravens strip it. This will be a physical game and field position will be a big factor, so Tennessee cannot afford to give Baltimore a short field to work with. The Titans must play a clean game on offense.

Titan'ic season

NFL.com Video

Relive the Titans impressive run to the AFC South crown and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Key matchup: Titans QB Kerry Collins vs. Ravens FS Ed Reed
Reed is the ultimate playmaker in the NFL and nobody makes more big plays than he does. He has rare instincts, ball skills and he might be the smartest defensive player in the league. He has a special gift -- the ability to play center field and lure the quarterback to throw into the middle of the field. When the ball is in the air, he breaks on it with incredible quickness, but not until the ball is out of the quarterback's hands. Plus, when Reed makes an interception he has an amazing ability to avoid tackles and take it to the house. Collins is a wily veteran with the ability to make every throw, but he struggles to throw the deep ball with great accuracy and he also likes to get the ball to his tight ends in the middle of the field -- which is the area Reed patrols. You can be sure Collins will identify Reed before every snap in this game.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.