The NFL division playoffs are three days away, and the match-up receiving the most publicity is the Baltimore Ravens vs the Indianapolis Colts. On Saturday, we all know we will see Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, and other key stars stepping up their game.
However, as a two part series, I will break down the top five sleepers on the Baltimore Ravens squad who will need to step up their game to propel their team to victory.
Thus far in his career, Mark Clayton has been a disappointment for the Baltimore Ravens. A former first round draft selection, Clayton has not played up to his ability. But that doesn't mean he can't turn it on in Saturday's game.
Clayton possesses good athleticism, and needs to step up against the young, inexperienced secondary.
While Derrick Mason and Todd Heap will have a lot of looks in the passing game, Clayton needs to step up as the second receiver to open up the field vertically for the ailing Joe Flacco.
For many of you fans, this may be the first time you ever hear of Jalen Parmele . But in order for Baltimore to start on a high note, he must bring his A game to the table.
Stepping in as the starting kick returner since the injury of Lardarius Webb, Parmele must give the offense good field position to work with early in the game.
Though Parmele doesn't show the outermost speed, Jalen has learned a few advantages on special teams as a backup running back.
He has break away speed, along with the ability to break tackles.
Chris Carr has stepped up his game after the awake of injuries to the secondary and special teams. However, he will need to continue his solid corner play if the Ravens stand a chance.
Carr showed a drastic turnaround in the victory over New England, only committing one penalty in the match up.
Yet, he gave up two touchdown passes in the process, the Patriots only scores. Carr will be a target of Peyton Manning when he goes up against the quick slot receivers of the Indianapolis Colts.
He has the speed to keep up with these guys, but the question will be can he avoid the penalties.
A man who looked to be seeing an end of a job after the Ravens season ended, showed some life after a great performance in the secondary against the New England Patriots.
This man is Frank Walker. For many of you who don't know him well, I can tell you he has been in the doghouse of Baltimore for the past few seasons.
And just when hope was lost, Walker might have had the best game of his season, with no penalties and almost coming up with an interception.
He, along with Chris Carr, need to continue the good work to allow the Ravens defense to bring the pressure.
Once a solid pass rusher, we have not heard of Trevor Pryce that often in this 2009-2010 season. Battling injuries and age, Pryce was a non-factor for most of the season.
However, that changed over the past month. Pryce has been a key contributor in the surging past rush, especially bringing the heat on Tom Brady in last week's match-up.
We are well aware of how quick Peyton Manning releases the football, so Pryce will need to use his upper strength to open the holes for Ray Lewis and company.