Keep your eye on ...
Kicking at Heinz Field: The Steelers and Ravens typically play very close games -- the two meetings this year were decided by a combined seven points -- and field goals often make the difference. Pittsburgh's Heinz Field is notoriously tough on kickers, and whoever is better able to handle the conditions could give his team an edge.
Playmaking linebackers: The Ravens' trio of Bart Scott, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs comprise one of the league's best linebacking units, but the Steelers' foursome of James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley and James Farrior might be even better. Expect both teams' linebackers to be right in the middle of the action all day.
A rookie tale: In 2004, Roethlisberger had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a quarterback when he led the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game. Baltimore's Joe Flacco is having a great rookie season in his own right and looks to one-up Roethlisberger on Sunday by beating the Steelers to get to the Super Bowl.
Did you know?
This is the first time since 1999 that two teams from the same division will square off in the conference championship. ... The Ravens rushed for a season-low 50 yards last week against the Titans. ... Ravens coach John Harbaugh became the fifth rookie head coach to win two playoff games. This week he could join the three-win club, which already includes Bill Callahan, George Seifert, Red Miller and Don McCafferty. ... The Steelers make their fourth conference championship appearance in the last eight seasons.