As they proved against the Dolphins, the Ravens are built for the playoffs, with that dominant, play-making defense and a power running game.
Kerry Collins completed 17-of-32 passes for 163 yards, one TD and two picks earlier this season at Baltimore.
However, Baltimore will have a difficult challenge trying to run against Tennessee's defensive front, provided tackle Albert Haynesworth has recovered from his knee injury. But you can count on the Ravens to be persistent in running the ball, regardless of whether they're successful. When the teams met in October, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain combined for 33 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Titans QB Kerry Collins, who threw one touchdown and two interceptions in the earlier meeting, will watch plenty of tape of what the Ravens did to Pennington because Collins and Pennington are kindred spirits. Both had their careers revived this season, and, like Pennington, Collins relies on efficiency. He, too, threw just seven interceptions this season. The Ravens likely will have a harder time applying pressure to him than they did against Pennington, because the Titans' pass protection is stronger.
The Titans have the ability to take pressure off of Collins and softening Baltimore's pass rush by pounding the ball on the ground, although their leading rusher, rookie sensation Chris Johnson, had a mere 44 yards on 18 carries in the previous meeting.
It helps that the Titans, who have been banged up, have had an extra week to rest for the game.
Matchups to watch
*Collins vs. Ravens' fifth-ranked pass defense: *Collins isn't very mobile, and the Ravens will look to keep him in the pocket and force him to throw toward the middle of the field ... where Reed will be hovering in search of an interception. Collins had one of his more forgettable games this season in the October matchup, completing 17 of 32 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
McClain and McGahee vs. Haynesworth and Co.: If the Ravens are going to have any success offensively, it's imperative that their two primary running backs have some success against the NFL's foremost run-stuffer (presuming he's healthy). Otherwise, that will put greater pressure on Flacco, who will have his hands full against the Titans' secondary.
Titans CB Cortland Finnegan vs. Ravens WR Derrick Mason:Finnegan is easily among the top cornerbacks in the NFL. He doesn't always have man-to-man coverage, because the Titans like to play a lot of zone behind a four-man rush. However, you can bet he will see his share of Mason, the Ravens' top receiver, who managed to catch 80 passes during the regular season and a team-leading four against Miami, even though he's Baltimore's only true game-breaking threat. Mason is crafty in running routes and knows how to use the sidelines to his advantage. But Finnegan is a tremendous athlete always capable of making a big play.