This is the Steel City Blitz Three-Point Stance. Your quick-hitting reference guide to everything you need to know about the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in this week five matchup. The TPS is sponsored by @EyeoftheStormZ.
What: Baltimore Ravens 2-2 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1-3
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
When: 1pm Eastern Sunday October 6th 2019
Weather: Early AM Showers but but cloudy and 73 at kickoff
Line: Ravens -3.5
Last Week: The Ravens were humbled at home by Cleveland 40-25 while the Steelers picked up their first win of the year over the Bengals 27-3.
TV: CBS Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analysis), Evan Washburn (sideline)
TV Coverage in Your Area: Click the link for the506.com to see if the Steelers are on where you live!
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley and Missi Matthews on the sidelines.
Head Official: Walt Anderson
Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: FB Roosevelt Nix (Knee) – Out, LB Anthony Chickillo (Foot) – Out
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Toe) – Questionable, TE Vance McDonald (Shoulder) – Questionable, LB Vince Williams (Hamstring) – Questionable BAL: CB Jimmy Smith (Knee) – Out, C Matt Skura (Knee) – Questionable, CB Cyrus Jones (Foot) – Questionable, DT Brandon Williams (Knee) – Questionable
Current 2019 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 29th BAL 3rd Passing Offense: PIT 23rd BAL 6th Rushing Offense: PIT 29th BAL 1st
Total Defense: PIT 19th BAL 27th Passing Defense: PIT 18th BAL 30th Rushing Defense: PIT 22nd BAL 9th
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 2-2, Cleveland 2-2, Pittsburgh 1-3, Cincinnati 0-4
This Week in the AFC North: Cleveland at San Francisco (MNF)
What You Need to Know: The Steelers are 36-28 all time (27-21 at home) following a Monday night game and they are 3-3 vs the Ravens in those situations… Under Mike Tomlin, the Steelers are 9-6 in games after a MNF appearance… The Pittsburgh defense allowed just 175 yards last week in defeating Cincinnati… Mason Rudolph set an NFL record last week for highest completion percentage by a player making his second career start at QB (85.7%)…
Baltimore Names to Know: QB Lamar Jackson, RB Mark Ingram II, WR Marquise Brown, TE Mark Andrews
What’s at Stake: A LOT. A win for the Steelers makes them 2-0 in the AFC North and if coupled with a Cleveland loss to San Francisco Monday night would put them in a tie for first. A win for the Ravens immediately vaults them back into first and would bring their AFC North record to 1-1. Obviously the bragging rights need no further mention.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 28-22 and lead at home 17-10
Last Meeting: November 4th, 2018 in Baltimore. Steelers 23 Ravens 16
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Tackle Well. Look, there’s nothing here that requires an in-depth explanation. The fact of the matter is that between Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, big tight ends and speedy receivers the Steelers’ defense cannot afford to miss tackles and give up extra yards. Potential second and long situations can’t become second and short because guys aren’t wrapping up. That plays right into the hands of Jackson and allows the Ravens to set up play-action where the Steelers bite harder than any defense in football. Bottom line here is that strong tackling is a must on Sunday.
Sam I Am. Jaylen Samuels is not the best running back. He isn’t the best receiver. He isn’t the best blocker either. But what he has become is a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. He finds ways to move the chains and he’s become a guy that has to get touches in this offense. After last week, I continue to find it unfathomable that he had ZERO touches in the week three loss at San Francisco. I am not suggesting Randy Fichtner go back to the wildcat with Samuels because this isn’t the Bengals’ defense. That does however showcase what I’m talking about in terms of Samuels’ abilities. Get him some more touches Randy!
Danny Smith I’m Looking at You. Ravens’ Head Coach John Harbaugh is a former Special Teams’ coach and he will often pull out his bag of trickery against the Steelers. This isn’t always on special teams mind you, but if the game is tight do not be surprised if the Ravens pull out a fake field goal or fake punt. That means Steelers’ Special Teams’ Coach Danny Smith has to have his unit ready for anything. And much like a pressing basketball that doesn’t like to be pressed, I’d like to see Smith come up with some ‘trickeration’ of his own if the game merits that. Essentially, Smith can’t let his unit be the one that costs the Steelers a win.
Predictions: If Vance McDonald can play today I believe that’s a massive assist to the Steelers because of the Browns’ success last week with two tight end sets against the Ravens’ D. That will remain to be seen however. What I know is this; my confidence in the Steelers’ ability to contain Lamar Jackson is not high. My confidence in the Steelers’ offense with a banged up McDonald, James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster is not high either. I think Mason Rudolph takes early, deep shots Sunday but I don’t think it’s enough.
Ravens 24 Steelers 17
Season Prediction Record: 3-1