It’s Steelers week in Ravens Nation and today we preview the first of two matchups between these two rivals in the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. If you have paid any attention to this rivalry over the past decade basically, then you know how hard fought and hardnosed these games are, and believe us, expect no different on Sunday.
It will not have the same feel as years past as the Ravens will not have Ray Lewis or Ed Reed on their side, while James Harrison is no longer with the Steelers, but let’s face it, it’s still Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
We have seemed to say this almost every week, but this week does provide the Ravens with an opportunity to get the running game going. Despite averaging just 72.7 rushing yards per game, Baltimore will be going up against a Steelers defense that allows the 11th most rushing yards per game in the league at 114.8, thus the Ravens could be able to find a way to get it going.
On the flip side of that, do not expect much from the Steelers in the running game as it will be a matchup of weakness versus strength. Baltimore allows the 9th fewest rushing yards per game at 98.2, while the Pittsburgh is next to last in the league averaging 61 rushing yards per game, only trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Of course, the two constants that remain over the past half-decade are the quarterbacks, Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. Both Baltimore and Pittsburgh rank near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed per game as the Ravens average 3.2 and the Steelers 3.8 sacks per game, but Flacco could be in for a little bit of a break from getting clobbered in the backfield. Pittsburgh’s pass rush has struggled this season and are only sacking the quarterback a measly 1.4 times per game, which in third worst in the NFL, so Flacco could actually get to enjoy the pocket a little bit this week.
If you are a Steelers fan, then you are already used to seeing Roethlisberger getting smacked around this season; well expect more of it on Sunday as the Ravens come in averaging 3.7 sacks per game which is second best in the NFL, trailing just the Kansas City Chiefs and the Steelers have a banged up offensive line.
Let’s get down to it however; both of these offenses have been mediocre at best, while the defenses have been their strengths. No question that both teams are going to want to get to the quarterback and stop the run in order to force their opponent to be one dimensional. This is going to be a typical Ravens versus Steelers game. It is going to be hard hitting, hardnosed, down to the wire, and tough to watch if you are not a fan of either team.
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