- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 10, 2009

Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Tennessee Titans (13-3)

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.

TV/radio: Chs. 9, 13, FM-97.9, AM-1090, AM-570

Line: Titans by 3

Last meeting: Titans 13-10 (Oct. 5 at Baltimore)

Key injuries: Tennessee — Out: C Kevin Mawae (knee). Baltimore — Questionable: TE Todd Heap (back), WR Derrick Mason (shoulder), S Ed Reed (knee), CB Samari Rolle (thigh), K Matt Stover (ankle), CB Fabian Washington (neck).

WHEN BALTIMORE HAS THE BALL

The Ravens don’t have a great offense (rookie quarterback Joe Flacco finished 9-for-23 for 135 yards in the wild-card victory at Miami), but they usually control the ball with a running back trio led by Le’Ron McClain and don’t make many mistakes. Tennessee’s defense, led by tackle Albert Haynesworth, linebacker Keith Bulluck and an opportunistic secondary, allowed the second-fewest points this season.

Edge: Titans

WHEN TENNESSEE HAS THE BALL

Like Baltimore, Tennessee is less accomplished on offense than defense. Veteran quarterback Kerry Collins took over as the starter in Week 2 and had a solid season, but fast rookie running back Chris Johnson is the main weapon. The Ravens’ defense led the league with 34 takeaways and forced five more in the wild-card game at Miami. The linebacking corps, tackle Haloti Ngata and safety Ed Reed lead the unit.

Edge: Ravens

KEY MATCHUP

Titans QB Kerry Collins vs. Ravens FS Ed Reed

If the Ravens’ No. 3 run defense bottles up the Titans’ No. 7 ground game as it did in Week 5, Collins will have to make some plays, just as he did to win that day. No safety is better at causing havoc than Reed, who has 10 interceptions in his past seven games, including two last week against Miami quarterback Chad Pennington.

PREDICTION: Baltimore 17, Tennessee 13

After a 10-0 start, Tennessee went 3-2 before mailing in its finale. Baltimore, in contrast, has won six of seven. The Ravens upset the top-seeded Titans in a 2000 divisional game and went on to win the Super Bowl. Thanks to Reed, history repeats.

— David Elfin

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