Quick preview of divisional matchups
Scouts Inc. gives a quick breakdown of each divisional playoff game.
After watching all the film and critiquing each team left in the playoffs, Scouts Inc. gives a quick preview of the four divisional matchups.
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.
Scouts Inc.'s previews of the other three divisional games. Insider
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.
Relive the Titans impressive run to the AFC South crown and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
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.
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2008 NFL Playoffs
The road to Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009, began Jan. 3 with the wild-card playoff round. Will the Steelers or Cardinals replace the Giants as champs?
Championship Game results: NFC | AFC
COLUMNS/FEATURES• Wojciechowski: May the bitter team win
• Chadiha: McNabb lets good times roll
• Football Outsiders: Numbers Crunching
• Sunday Countdown: Predictions and more
• Clayton: First and Goal
• Garber: This Philly Story seeks proper ending
• Clayton: Peaking Steelers should advance
• Chadiha: Eagles will soar in desert
• Wojciechowski: Book Eagles for Tampa
• Football Outsiders: Any Given Sunday
• Football Outsiders: Quick Reads
CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES (Jan. 18)
Steelers 23, Ravens 14• Polamalu's INT return secures win
• Playoff page | AFC North blog
Cardinals 32, Eagles 25• Fitzgerald leads Cardinals to first Super Bowl
• Playoff page | NFC West blog ... East
DIVISIONAL ROUND (Jan. 10-11)
Steelers 35, Chargers 24• Walker: The Bus sparks Parker
• Williamson: Bolts need season-long urgency
• Recap: Steelers knock out Chargers
• More | AFC West blog ... AFC North
Ravens 13, Titans 10• Graham: Battered Ravens pass physical
• Kuharsky: Titans failed to answer critics
• Recap: Turnovers doom Titans
• Zoom Gallery
• Fleming: Can anyone stop the Ravens?
• More | AFC North blog ... AFC South
Cardinals 33, Panthers 13• Sando: Desert bloom for Arizona's faithful
• Sando: No denying Cards' makeover
• Yasinskas: Carolina's big plans fall apart
• Recap: Delhomme's 5 INTs doom Panthers
• Zoom Gallery
• More | NFC West blog ... NFC South
Eagles 23, Giants 11• Wojciechowski: Book Eagles for Tampa
• Mosley: Giants lost to better team
• Recap: Defense smothers Giants
• Zoom gallery
• Chadiha: Eagles' defense hitting stride
• More | NFC East blog
WILD-CARD ROUND (Jan. 3-4)
Ravens 27, Dolphins 9• Wojciechowski: Scary Ravens' D
• Recap: Ravens' defense overpowers Dolphins
• More | AFC North blog ... AFC East
Eagles 26, Vikings 14• Mosley: Eagles' run continues
• Recap: Westbrook, big plays carry Eagles
• More | NFC East blog... NFC North
Cardinals 30, Falcons 24• Sando: Cards' winning identity
• Recap: Strong second half powers Cards
• More | NFC South blog ... NFC West
Chargers 23, Colts 17• Williamson: 5-6 Sproles comes up big
• Recap: Chargers shock Manning, Colts in OT
• More | AFC South blog ... AFC West