It’s Rivalry Week! The Baltimore Ravens come to Pittsburgh leading the division. What will it take for the Steelers to pull this one out? Everything you need to know is right here!
What: Baltimore Ravens 8-4 at Pittsburgh Steelers 5-7
Where: Acrisure Stadium Pittsburgh, PA
When: 1pm ET Sunday December 11th, 2022
Weather: Cloudy and 46 degrees
Wagering Information: Ravens +2 O/U 37
Last Week: The Ravens defeated the Denver Broncos 10-9 in Baltimore while the Steelers hung on to beat the Atlanta Falcons 19-16 in Atlanta.
TV: CBS Greg Gumbel and Trent Green
TV Coverage in Your Area: Most of the country will be getting the Jets-Bills but here’s the map to see if you’re lucky. 506sports.com
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Craig Wolfley (analysis), Missi Matthews (sideline),
Max Starks (sideline)
Westwood One Radio: N/A
Head Official: Adrian Hill. Hill is an aerospace software engineer. The Steelers have not seen Hill since November of 2020 when they beat the Bengals in Cincinnati 36-10. 12 accepted penalties were called that day.
Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: WR Diontae Johnson (Hip) – Questionable, LB Malik Reed (Back) – Questionable, LB T.J. Watt (Ribs) – Questionable BAL: QB Lamar Jackson (Knee) – Doubtful, OL Patrick Mekari (Toe) – Questionable, OLB Del’Shawn Phillips (Quad) – Questionable, LB Patrick Queen (Thigh) – Questionable, G Kevin Zeitler (Knee) – Questionable, LB Kristian Welch (Concussion) – Questionable, CB Daryl Worley (Hamstring) – Out
UPDATE: The Steelers have officially removed Watt, Reed and Johnson from the Injury List. They will play Sunday.
Injury Notes: The Steelers will be severely limited if Johnson can’t go. That would increase the pressure on George Pickens and force Steven Sims et al to make plays… If both Watt and Reed are unable to go then Teryl Austin will need to get very creative on the edge.
2022 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 29th BAL 13th Passing Offense: PIT 25th BAL 26th Rushing Offense: PIT 17th BAL 3rd
Total Defense: PIT 17th BAL 9th Passing Defense: PIT 27th BAL 25th Rushing Defense: PIT 6th BAL 2nd
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 8-4, Cincinnati 8-4, Cleveland 5-7, Pittsburgh 5-7
This Week in the AFC North: Cleveland at Cincinnati 1pmET Sunday
What You Need to Know: The Steelers have not committed a turnover in the last three games… Alex Highsmith has 10 sacks on the season and four forced fumbles which leads the NFL… A win Sunday would give Mike Tomlin 160 career victories. He would be the 17th coach in history to reach that mark… The Steelers are 4-0 this year when they score first… They are 5-0 when they have the lead after the first quarter… Pittsburgh has won four-straight games in the series…
Baltimore Ravens Names to Know: QB Tyler Huntley, RB Gus Edwards, TE Mark Andrews, LB Patrick Queen, DE Calais Campbell, CB Marlon Humphrey
What’s at Stake: This is a must-win game for both teams in all reality. The Ravens have to keep pace with the hot Bengals while the Steelers have to keep winning in order to have any chance of making the postseason.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 32-24 and lead all-time in Pittsburgh 19-11.
Postseason History: Steelers lead 3-1
Steelers Game Highs vs BAL: Passing 2017 Ben Roethlisberger 506 yards Rushing 2017 Le’Veon Bell 144 yards Receiving 2017 Antonio Brown 213 yards Sacks 2021 T.J. Watt 3.5 Interceptions 2002 Brent Alexander (most recent) 2
Last Meeting: January 2022 in Baltimore. Steelers 16 Ravens 13 OT
Check out the latest Steel City Blitz Steelers Podcast for more on the Steelers.
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
1. Get Your Kicks. It’s expected that Chris Boswell will return to action after missing the last four weeks. Not only does he face the pressure of opposing Justin Tucker but he also has to match what Matthew Wright has been doing in his stead. Since going 1 for 3 on his field goal attempts in his first week, Wright hasn’t missed since. He also did a superb job of directional kicking last week against Cordarrelle Patterson and the Falcons. No, I’m not suggesting Wright is a better option that Boswell in the slightest, but should Boswell struggle there will be questions. He has to be able to kick deep and he can’t afford to miss PATs and field goals in what is sure to be a close game with the Ravens.
2. Run vs Run. It would be easy to say that the team that runs the ball better will win here but that isn’t always true. That probably holds more truth in lower levels of football but the NFL can be a strange animal. That said, I really do believe whichever offense can generate more yards per carry will have a monstrous advantage. Both of these QBs, Kenny Pickett and Tyler Huntley, will be much more effective with a good running game than without. Matt Canada has to be more creative with his jet sweeps and jet motion. The Ravens won’t bite anymore than other teams. I do think the rotation of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren with some Benny Snell mixed in can get the job done. The only question is the offensive line. They’ve had their way with Indy and Atlanta but Baltimore will be a bigger challenge.
3. Create Mistakes. There’s no secret here; creating turnovers leads to victories. With the Steelers’ offense struggling in the Red Zone, the defense can help that unit out tremendously by getting turnovers and shortening the field. Alex Highsmith has done his best to strip the QB of the ball this year – he’s done it four times – while Minkah Fitzpatrick can hopefully lure Huntley into some throws he regrets. Those things are obvious right? The defense can also get their hands up and disturb throwing lanes, bat passes down or better yet, deflect them and give their teammates opportunities to make interceptions. Anytime you play your rival, you need all the help you can get.
Prediction: Don’t be a bit surprised if Huntley plays well. He’s not Lamar Jackson in terms of his improvisational skills but he can make throws and take care of the ball. The last two weeks have seen the Steelers’ defense get somewhat lucky. Both Indianapolis and Atlanta, two very good running teams, for whatever reason chose to throw a lot. I do not believe John Harbaugh will make the same mistake. I think the Steelers will do some good things in the first half but another second half swoon is coming. There will be opportunities but I think the Ravens do enough to get out with a win.
Ravens 22 Steelers 17
Season Record 8-4