While most people are excited for this game my anxiety is at an all time high. Usually, in past years, I’m not phased with the biggest rivalry game in the NFL, always confident my Ravens will smash the Steelers. This year, with the way our season has been going, I’m a little worried.
Here’s what you should look for in this afternoon’s game.
With both of his deep ball threats, Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones back, look for Joe Flacco to step up and be the leader on this offense. Flacco’s speedy outside targets will allow for more windows to open the offense up for the mid and short range passes. A healthy run game for the Ravens would also open up the passing game for Baltimore. Look for Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss, and Dallas Clark to be big contributors this week against Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger is a big quarterback who likes to stay in the pocket and make passes. His size makes him difficult to bring down, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil have their work cut out for them. The majority of the Steeler’s offense relies on passing and if the Raven’s defense can get pressure on Big Ben, they will have a better chance of beating their rivals. Look for Ladarius Webb to lead the Raven’s secondary and a solid performance from former first round pick Jimmy Smith.
The special teams units battle for the “hidden yardage” in football. The Ravens have played well on three phases: kickoff, kickoff return, and punt return. They have had exceptional return plays thanks to the speed and agility of Tandon Doss and Jacoby Jones. Punting the football is where the Raven’s have struggled. They have had two punts blocked this season. Whichever team can block a punt during a game, their chance of winning automatically goes up to around 80%. In both games the Raven’s have had a punt blocked, they have lost. Punt protection is an aspect that is not necessarily a big focal point for viewers, but it can drastically change a team’s chances of winning.
The Ravens will take Heinz Field at 4:25 ET to battle the Steelers. Make sure you tune it, it’s going to be a great game!
About the Author
Written by Brandie
Brandie is a graduate from Utah State University where she competed as a Division 1 gymnast. Growing up in the DC area Brandie has always been a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and is honored to have the privilege to write about them.