Ravens at Falcons: 5 what ifs . . .

As the 6-2 Falcons see how they stack up against one of the AFC's elite teams, the 6-2 Ravens, what if ...

1. Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is not 100 percent.

White is expected to play, but just four days after suffering a knee injury against Tampa Bay, he's not likely to be at 100 percent.

White was held out of the week's light, non-padded practices.

The injury comes at a time when he and Matt Ryan were in sync like almost no other quarterback and wide receiver duo in the league. Teams knew Ryan was constantly targeting White, but it didn't seemed to matter.

Before the injury, White had an 11-catch, 201-yard game against Cincinnati. As far back as the opener, he caught 13 passes against Pittsburgh.

"He’s just spectacular," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "I’m very impressed with the fact that he’s a threat on the field in both directions. He can stretch it horizontally coming across the field. He can stretch it vertically."

If White is slowed, tight end Tony Gonzalez as well as the other receivers will have to pick up the slack. Michael Jenkins (10 catches), Harry Douglas (15) and Brian Finneran (12) will have their biggest challenge of the year. White ranks second in the league in receptions (58) and receiving yards (796).

"He's been a huge part of what we've done," Ryan said. "I was glad personally for him that it was nothing too serious and he was able to come back in and play. When he's in there, it definitely helps our offense."

2. The Falcons are able to block Haloti Ngata and run the football.

Running back Michael Turner has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of the last six games. He's on pace to run 310 times for almost 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"Michael Turner is a downhill back," Harbaugh said. "For a guy with his size and power, he’s really fast."

In the Falcons two losses, Turner rushed for 42 and 45 yards against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The numbers favor Atlanta but barely. The Falcons average 136.5 yards rushing per game, tied for sixth in the league. The Ravens give up 104.8 yards rushing per game, which is 13th in the league. Cleveland's Peyton Hillis ripped the Ravens for 144 yards on Sept. 26.

But run game success will depend on how the Falcons handle massive defensive end Haloti Ngata and middle linebacker Ray Lewis. Guard Justin Blalock and tackle Sam Baker will have their hands full with the 350-pound Ngata.

"This is a team with a great defense," running back Jason Snelling said. "You have to be able to go in and run the ball. We have to try to go in there and control the clock."

3. The Falcons are able to control the Ravens' wide receivers.

Inthe last three games, Falcons' opponent have hit the secondary with touchdown passes of 58, 64 and 83 yards. The Ravens will certainly take their shots down the field with the hopes of hitting a big play.

Against Philadelphia, the Eagles connected on an 83-yarder to Jeremy Maclin  after safety Thomas DeCoud bit on a fake reverse.

Against Cincinnati, safety William Moore took a bad angle to Jordan Shipley and slipped. That miscue resulted in a 64-yard touchdown.

Against Tampa Bay, cornerback Dunta Robinson took a bad angle to Mike Williams who broke away for a 58-yard touchdown.

The Ravens have a talented group of receivers in Derrick Mason (30 catches), Anquan Boldin (40) and tight end Todd Heap (26).

"They are crafty veterans," Robinson said. "Boldin is a big-play guy. He's a very good receiver who converts a lot of third downs. As a group, we haven't faced a more veteran group of receivers. Their great route-running ability will come out. It's going to be a great test for us."

4. Ravens safety Ed Reed stalks Matt Ryan and shuts down the passing game.

Ryan has thrown just five interceptions while the Falcons have a plus-seven turnover ratio.

Reed has three interceptions since Oct 23, when he was activated off the physically unable to perform list following hip surgery.

"I had the honor of being on the staff with Ed early in his career," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "You could tell from the very beginning that he's a ball hawk."

Reed, a six-time Pro Bowler, has 49 career interceptions.

"He has a very good knack for playing the ball in the air," Smith said.

Ryan doesn't plan to pay Reed too much respect.

"You can't stay away from him the entire time," Ryan said. "He's going to be around the football. You just have to be smart with the chances that you take. When things are there, you have to throw it with conviction.

"Trust what you see and delivery the football. ... He's a good player. You have to be concerned with where he is at, but at the same time you have to remain aggressive."

5. The Falcons kickoff coverage team makes some tackles.

The kickoff coverage unit has been a simmering issue all season.

In the second game, Arizona's LeRod Stephens-Howling returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back for a holding penalty away from the ball.

In the last outing against Tampa Bay, Michael Spurlock had 209 yards on kickoff returns, including an 89-yard touchdown.

The Falcons have put linebacker Stephen Nicholas and defensive end Kroy Biermann, both starters, back on the kickoff coverage unit. They anchored the unit last season. Nicholas led the Falcons in special tackles in 2009 with 13 and Biermann was second with 12.

Baltimore kickoff returner Jalen Parmele, a running back, is averaging 22.9 yards on 18 returns. He also has one fumble.

"I'm here to do whatever this team needs," Biermann said.