Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Will Titans FG defense be a factor?

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In the heyday of their AFC Central rivalry, Baltimore-Tennessee games ended in scores like 12-8, 16-14 and 16-10.

In Week 5 this season, the Titans won in Baltimore, 13-10.

Odds are field goal kickers Matt Stover and Rob Bironas are going to have a bearing on the outcome of Saturday's divisional-round playoff game.

While the NFL average on making field goals was 84.5 percent, the Titans led the NFL in opponent field goal percentage, as kickers converted just 66.7 percent.

"They rush really well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They do a great job with their edge pressure, probably as good as anybody in the league, and they've got some big, physical guys inside that play really hard and bring it. I think they pressure the field goal kick unit very well."

Might that mean the Titans will see a timely miss by Baltimore veteran Matt Stover?

If they do, it'll be a first. He's 10-for-10 all-time at LP Field, including five-for-five on kicks over 40 yards.

One other note on kickers:

Baltimore's Steve Hauschka put four of his six kickoffs in the wild-card playoff game at Miami into the end zone, three for touchbacks. But he had the help of warm weather and wind. In nine regular-season games, he had just four touchbacks on 43 kickoffs. Odds are that Chris Carr, the NFL's fourth-leading kickoff return man, will get some chances against the Ravens.