Consider this your open thread to talk about all the fireworks about to take place in the Titans/Ravens 4:30 Divisional Mexican Stand-Off.
Everyone and their mother's mother seems to be picking the spooky Ravens, due to the emergence of Unibrow Hero Joe Flacco and the swarming defense led by cherry-picking extraordinaire, Ed Reed. But will the Tennessee version of Smash and Dash be enough to prevent Kerry Collins from relapsing into the 2000 Super Bowl quarterback who kept throwing passes into Ray Lewis' wrists? We shall see.
Here are some game summaries that should satisfy your every whim:
• "For Tennessee, they just aren't flashy. People love to hate the good teams, and when you can find flaws — such as the lack of an explosive passing attack — you are gonna hear dissent. They do have an incredibly dominant defensive line, a special defensive back in Courtland Finnegan, and a stellar inside-outside running duo in LenDale White and Chris Johnson. There continue to be questions about whether or not Kerry Collins can win a playoff game if the running game is completely shut down, but he's been to the Super Bowl before." [Fanhouse]
• Mike Florio: Italian Talking head. [PFT]
• "As everyone knows, the Titans used the mustache voodoo of Jeff Fisher to jump out to a great start this season before falling back to the pack a bit. Led by a great game with rookie RB Chris Johnson and LenDale White, efficient QB play by Kerry Collins, and one of the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL, the Titans were able to secure the #1 seed in the AFC Playoffs." [Midwest Sports Fans]
•"The X factor in this game is Kerry Collins. Collins struggled early in the last game against the Ravens but put it together late to lead the game winning TD drive. The Titans will need Collins to play the type of game today that he was hired to play; take care of the ball, hit open receivers, throw the ball away when there is nothing there, and keep the offense calm with his veteran presence. Overall this season Collins has done an excellent job of doing these things. This team can win the Super Bowl if Collins plays that way." [Music City Miracles]
• "The Ravens need to keep the heat on the quarterback as Kerry Collins is prone to turnovers. When they force multiple miscues they are 9-2. They need to run the ball to take the pressure off Flacco and put themselves in manageable third downs. Flacco doesn't need to be spectacular but one thing I picked up on re-watching the Ravens playoff run of 2000 (Buy it at Amazon.com), he needs to make one or two plays. If he does that and doesn't cough the ball up Baltimore gets this one." [Ravens Gab]
• "This is an evenly matched game between two hard-hitting, smash-mouth football teams. Both sport outstanding defenses and rushing attacks. Though the Titans have the advantage with Collins under center, the Ravens historically have forced the veteran into poor performances with their complex defensive scheme. Additionally, the Ravens' physical ground game will eventually impose its will on the Titans late in the game as Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch tire. Look for the Ravens to win a tight one, 16-13." [SI]
• "Ravens! Titans! Dierdorf! Gumbel! Defense! Power running! Two teams stolen from other cities! Neither of which you like! So why are we live-blogging it? Because you don't want to be sober all day, do you?" [KSK]
Enjoy the game. Late game thread starts at 8 p.m.