This is the Steel City Blitz Three-Point Stance. Your quick-hitting reference guide to everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in this week 8 matchup. The TPS is sponsored by Gryffin the King!
What: Pittsburgh Steelers 6-0 at Baltimore Ravens 5-1
Where: M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Maryland
When: 1pmET November 1st, 2020
Weather: 55 degrees and rain
Line: Steelers +4.5 O/U 46
Last Week: Baltimore enjoyed a week off while the Steelers traveled to Tennessee where they escaped with a 27-24 win over the previously unbeaten Titans.
TV: CBS Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analysis), Tracy Wolfson (field reporter)
TV Coverage in Your Area: courtesy the506.com.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley and Missi Matthews on the sidelines.
Head Official: Brad Allen. He is in his seventh season as an NFL Referee. His most recent Steelers’ game was against the Colts last year that saw Pittsburgh win 26-24. There were 12 accepted penalties in that game. Allen also officiated the 45-42 playoff loss to Jacksonville where his crew had just seven accepted penalties.
Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: CB Mike Hilton (Shoulder) – Questionable, S Jordan Dangerfield (Quadriceps) – Out, FB Derek Watt (Hamstring) – Questionable, NT Chris Wormley (Knee) – Out, LB Ulysses GIlbert (Back) – Out BAL: RB Mark Ingram II (Ankle) – Doubtful, DB/LB Anthony Levine (Abdomen) – Questionable, CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles) – Questionable
2019 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 9th BAL 12th Passing Offense: PIT 26th BAL 32nd Rushing Offense: PIT 12th BAL 3rd
Total Defense: PIT 4th BAL 1st Passing Defense: PIT 3rd BAL 6th Rushing Defense: PIT 1st BAL 7th
AFC North Rankings: Pittsburgh 6-0, Baltimore 5-1, Cleveland 5-2, Cincinnati 1-5-1
This Week in the AFC North: Tennessee at Cincinnati 1pm, Las Vegas at Cleveland 1pm
What You Need to Know: This rivalry is ridiculously close through 52 games. While the Steelers hold the advantage by four games the total combined score is 1,062 to 1,035… Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh will meet for the 25th time which is the most in the Super Bowl era between any two coaches… The Steelers are the first team since 2006 to play three teams with one loss or less this late in the season… Of the last ten teams to start the season 6-0, five went on to the Super Bowl but only the 2015 Denver Broncos won the title… The Steelers have won five of the six coin tosses this season… Pittsburgh is 35-18-1 all-time on the road in the AFC North.
Baltimore Ravens Names to Know: QB Lamar Jackson, WR Marquise Brown, RB Mark Ingram, RB J.K. Dobbins, TE Mark Andrews, RB Gus Edwards, CB Marlon Humphrey, LB Patrick Queen
What’s at Stake: First and foremost is pride. This rivalry is huge for both teams and this isn’t just another ‘win or loss’ for either team. Secondly, the lead in the AFC North and the fight for the top seed in the AFC is on the line as well. With both teams having relatively easy schedules the rest of the way this one takes on added significance.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 28-24; Ravens lead 13-11 in Baltimore.
Last Meeting: December 2019 Ravens 28 Steelers 10
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Special Teams Precision. Year in and year out the Ravens are one of the best when it comes to Special Teams and so far this season the Steelers’ unit has been just as good. The emergence of Ray Ray McLoud as the return man has added some serious spice to the return game and the penalties are way down. Sunday however will find the Steelers without Special Teams’ captain Jordan Dangerfield who is out with a quad injury. The most important thing here is for the Steelers to remain awake. John Harbaugh is willing to pull out all of the stops at any moment of the game to gain an advantage and embarrass you too.
Lamar, Lamar, Lamar. The Ravens’ offense, like most in the NFL, runs through its’ quarterback. But no offense relies more heavily on its’ signal caller than do the Ravens. They need him to throw accurately, make the right reads on RPOs and perhaps most importantly of all, he has to make sure he doesn’t take those big hits. Look for the Steelers to build upon their NFL leading ‘tackles for loss.’ As was the case with Derrick Henry, you want to stop Jackson before he gets started so that falls on Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and the rest of the front seven. If Jackson is allowed to operate freely then it will turn into a long day for the defense.
Find the Matchup. The Ravens and Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale always make the Steelers work for everything in these games. In recent weeks, they’ve been more than willing to leave their outside corners on islands while doubling the slots or slot and tight end. If that is employed again, then Ben Roethlisberger must make quick and efficient decisions. Speaking of that, Big Ben will often be challenged at the line of scrimmage by Martindale who has no problem loading eight guys into the box. Who is coming on the blitz? Who isn’t? This is a cerebral matchup that Ben must win pre and post snap.
Prediction: I haven’t missed yet this season but I’m hoping Sunday is my first one. Baltimore under John Harbaugh is terrific coming off the BYE, 10-2 in fact. Not only did they have a week off but they get to stay at home. The Steelers played a tough, physical and exhausting game in Nashville last week and despite a flawless first half the second half was anything but. I think that all factors into a really tall challenge for the Men of Steel. Look for another classic filled with big hits and big plays but I think the Steelers finally run out of gas.
Ravens 26 Steelers 23
Season Prediction Record: 6-0