This is the Steel City Blitz Three-Point Stance. Your quick-hitting reference guide to everything you need to know about the Steelers and the Ravens in their crucial week nine match-up. It is sponsored by Nail the Number: The Fight Against Cancer.
What: Pittsburgh Steelers 4-2-1 at Baltimore Ravens 4-4
Where: BB&T Field, Baltimore, MD
When: 1pm Eastern Sunday, November 4th, 2018
Weather: Sunny and 59 degrees
Line: Ravens -3
Last Week: The Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 33-18 in Pittsburgh while the Ravens dropped a 36-21 game to the Panthers in Carolina.
TV: CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn on the sidelines.
TV Coverage in Your Area: Click here to see if the Steelers are on in your area!
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Head Official: Craig Wrolstad
Key Injuries: PIT: CB Coty Sensabaugh (Toe) – Questionable, CB Artie Burns (Ankle) – Questionable,
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) – Doubtful BAL: G Bradley Bozeman (Calf) – Questionable, RB Alex Collins (Foot) – Questionable
CB Marlon Humphrey (Thigh) – Questionable, T James Hurst (Back) – Out, S Tony Jefferson (Hamstring) – Questionable
WR Jordan Lasley (Hamstring) – Questionable, G Alex Lewis (Neck) – Questionable, LB C.J. Mosley (Thigh) – Questionable
T Ronnie Stanley (Ankle) – Out, LB Tim Williams (Ankle) – Out
2018 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 11th BAL 8th Passing Offense: PIT 6th, BAL 5th Rushing Offense: PIT 26th, BAL 19th
Total Defense: PIT 10th, BAL 5th Passing Defense: PIT 16th, BAL 6th Rushing Defense: PIT 4th, BAL 13th
AFC North Rankings: Pittsburgh 4-2-1 Cincinnat 5-3 Baltimore 4-4 Cleveland 2-5-1
This Week: Kansas City 7-1 at Cleveland 2-5-1, Cincinnati BYE
What You Need to Know: The Steelers have won six straight games in the month of October… Pittsburgh is 2-0-1 on the road this season… The Steelers are 4-0 when they out-rush the opponent… Ben Roethlisberger needs 34 pass attempts to pass Warren Moon for eighth all-time…
What’s at Stake: The inside track on the division. A Steelers’ win brings them to 3-1-1 in the division with the season finale at home against Cincinnati left to play. A loss gives the Ravens the inside track because they’d hold the head-to-head tie-breaker with the Steelers. They’d also be 2-2 in the division with home games remaining against both Cleveland and Cincinnati.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 24-21 all-time while the Ravens lead 12-10 in Baltimore.
Series Highs: PASSING: Steelers Ben Roethlisberger 506 yards 12/10/2017, Ravens Jeff Blake 336 12/29/2002… RUSHING: Steelers Le’Veon Bell 144 yards 10/1/2017, Ravens Justin Forsett 150 yards 10/1/2015… RECEIVING: Steelers Antonio Brown 213 yards 12/10/2017, Ravens Qadry Ismail 258 12/12/1999
Last Meeting: September 30th, 2018 in Pittsburgh. Ravens 26 Steelers 14
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
A Hot Start is a Must. In the last 16 games these two have played against each other the team leading after the first quarter has gone on to win 14 times. This is not good considering the slow starts the Steelers have had this season. In recent weeks, Randy Fichtner has used heavy packages early in games and then has spread things out as the games wear on. I don’t think he can do that Sunday. I’d much prefer some no-huddle to put pressure on the Ravens right off the bat and limit their ability to substitute. Falling behind and giving a struggling Joe Flacco confidence is a huge hill to climb in Baltimore.
Take Advantage of Who ISN’T Playing. The Ravens enter this game with both of their starting tackles out. Neither Ronnie Stanley nor James Hurst will play. The Steelers have to take advantage in two ways here. First, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree must get pressure on Flacco. That will not only cause panic for Flacco but it will force the Ravens to use their tight ends to help protect. That in turn keeps them from using their tight ends in the passing game. I don’t need to tell you how effective they are at doing that against the Steelers’ D. Bottom line here is that the Steelers have no excuses to not pressure Flacco from the edges.
Don’t Worry About Ben’s Numbers. There’s been a lot of talk about how poorly Ben Roethlisberger has performed in Baltimore. He’s never had a 300-yard passing game there and has struggled in recent starts. Having a big day passing would be nice but would I’d rather see is James Conner running the ball effectively. That’s important for obvious reasons but it also keeps pressure off of Big Ben and sets up play-action. This game is about winning it. Mike Tomlin will make zero apologies for what it looks like if the Steelers can pull out a win whether Ben has a big game or not. He needs to take care of the ball and distribute it. If they get behind then of course the pass numbers become more important.
Predictions: I have a feeling this game is going to be ugly. Everything seems to line up in the favor of the Steelers in terms of health and how the two teams have been playing. Pittsburgh has won just twice in their last six trips into Baltimore though and this game arguably has more riding on it than many of those games did in terms of the division race. This is a better Steelers’ team than it was a month ago and I know I sound like a homer but I just have a feeling… Steelers 22 Ravens 17
Season Prediction Record: 4-3