When they met in the regular season, Ravens QB Joe Flacco had one of the worst games of his impressive rookie season and the Ravens lost by a mere three points. That game like this game was played in Nashville, but the Titans were a juggernaut off to a 10-0 start and the Ravens were just finding themselves at that time. Right now the Titans defense is a little banged up with Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosh returning from late season injuries. While Ed Reed has been a monster lately seemingly intercepting balls at will, as his two last week against the Dolphins were the catalyst to the Ravens win in Miami. Look for Reed to have another monster game as the Ravens stun the Titans on the road, giving QB Kerry Collins flashbacks to his nightmarish game in Super Bowl XXV.
When they last met the Steelers edged the Chargers by one point, well it should have been more as an officiating mistake took away a game ending Touchdown by the Steelers, but that’s neither here nor there. The Chargers hate cold weather, they hate going east, and they are a team that relies on spread a bit, and all of those play into the hands of the Steelers. LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt and Darren Sproles, likely won’t be able to repeat his performance from the Wild Card round, as Heinz Field is the worst playing surface in the NFL and the Steelers would not have it any other way. Look for the Steelers attacking defense to keep Philip Rivers under wraps all day as the Steelers win an ugly game full of turnovers, something they just love at the big Ketchup Bottle.
The Cardinals were awful this year when they had to travel east as they played some of their worst football, in the Eastern Time Zone. One of those loses was a loss in Carolina. That game was not as bad as their losses in Foxboro or the Meadowlands, but that game was not against a rested hungry Panthers team that smells blood. The Cardinals will also likely be without one of their key play makers Anquan Boldin. This game of all the games has the best chance to turn real ugly this weekend, look for the Panthers to tear apart the Cardinals, as the desert birds provide a taste snack for the black cats of Carolina.
During the regular season these two bitter divisional rivals split their two meetings. In November the Giants won a Sunday Night shoot out in November, while a month later the Giants staggered at home, as they spent a week dealing with the self shooting of Plaxico Burress. That December game was the worst performance the defending champions had all season, and in the end they only lost by six points. The Giants will not be distracted this time around as the Eagles will have a giant target on their backs. Look for a big game from Eli Manning, as the Giants defense shuts down the Brian Westbrook, forcing Donovan McNabb to be the difference, and when that happens its usually bad news for the Eagles.