Morning take: AFC title edition
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
With the center of the football universe focused on the two conference title games, here are the most interesting stories on the AFC side with the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers:
- According to the Ravens, they were openly rooting for the Steelers to beat the San Diego Chargers this weekend to set up an epic third installment between AFC North rivals.
Morning take: In fact, both sides wanted this matchup. These are not the type of teams that enjoy leaving its business unfinished.
- On the injury front, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu likely will miss practice time this week with a strained calf but will play Sunday.
Morning take: Polamalu's speed and explosiveness is a big part of his game. So it will be important for Pittsburgh's training staff to do everything it can this week to get one of his wheels close to 100 percent.
- Here is a profile of one of the unsung heroes for Baltimore: "Little Jimmy" Leonhard.
Morning take: True story: When first I saw the 5-foot-8, 186-pound Jim Leonhard in the Ravens' locker room this season, I had no idea he was on the football team. This doesn't happen very often.
- Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been very aggressive in the playoffs, which already includes a fake punt and a fourth-and-1 attempt at the goal line.
Morning take: Although neither call worked, Tomlin is doing all he can to generate momentum from the sideline. We will have more on the Steelers' head coach later today (hint, hint).