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NFL Baltimore Ravens

5 Baltimore Ravens Who Must Step Up vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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5 Baltimore Ravens Players That Must Step Up In Week 17 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Mitch Stringer-USA Today Sports

This is it. This week might be my last 5 Baltimore Ravens players that need to step up column of the year — well, the football year anyway. If the Ravens can defeat the Cincinnati Bengals and have either the San Diego Chargers or Miami Dolphins lose, then I'll be able to keep this weekly column going another week at least. If not, then thanks for reading every week, it's been a pleasure for me. As always, I'll go over my picks from last week.

Oh yeah, last week was that embarrassing 41-7 home loss to the New England Patriots. I'm almost afraid to check who I picked, but here goes. My picks from last week were, Justin Tucker, Ray Rice, Jacoby Jones, Matt Elam, and Elvis Dumervil. Just like Terrell Suggs I want to burn the game tape, the game tape meaning my column from last week. At least Jacoby had a few nice kick returns right? Yeah, I’m really grasping for straws here. I mean last week was so bad that even Tucker couldn’t come through for me as he missed a 37 yard field goal. Of course he shouldn’t have been kicking that field goal to begin with, but that’s a different matter altogether.

Hopefully this week will serve the Ravens well, otherwise the 2013 season will be over and the Ravens will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The following five Ravens players need to step up their game this week to prevent that from happening. Enjoy the show.

Dan Abeshouse is a Baltimore Ravens Writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danabeshouse82, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dan Abeshouse here

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Joe Flacco

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Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

We've seen Flacco rise to the occasion in the postseason. Now we need to see him gut out a win while being injured. The defense will not be able to cover up a "Bad Flacco" game. The recipe is simple, hold on to the ball and make some plays here and there.

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Jacoby Jones

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Evan Habeeb-USA Today Sports

This feels like the type of game where the Ravens will need at least one big return in the kicking game. Who better than Dragonfly?

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Haloti Ngata

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Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Haloti Ngata had one of his better games of the year earlier against the Bengals and it would be nice if he could repeat that performance here. Andy Dalton barely had time to wipe his nose, much less throw a pass. Dalton will have another rough day if Ngata can be a disruptive force in the middle.

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Jimmy Smith

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Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Speaking of repeat performances, Jimmy Smith did a nice job covering A.J. Green in the last game. Obviously, limiting Green will make things easier for the Ravens. I'll take my chances with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

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Dennis Pitta

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

So, we all know Flacco is a little banged up. It makes me wonder how much accuracy he'll have on the deep throws. If that's the case then Flacco will need his buddy Dennis Pitta more then ever. Move those chains and wear down that defense.