The Pittsburgh Steelers are on a roll to start the season winning their first six games. They face another challenge this week against their divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens.
Steelers Keys to Victory vs. the Baltimore Ravens
Make Lamar Jackson Pass
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is a bright young star in this league and can beat teams with his legs if they let him. He is not as good if you take away the threat of the run, and we’ve seen how good the Steelers run defense has been this year. Jackson hasn’t displayed an ability to pick apart a defense with his arm this season outside of Week 1 against Cleveland, and the Browns haven’t exactly been a beacon of defensive greatness. You limit Lamar Jackson’s ability to run and you take away his most dangerous weapon.
Win the Field Position Battle
The Ravens offense is eight in the league in scoring but 27th in yards. The Baltimore defense being ninth in the league in yards allowed might have something to do with that. Baltimore’s offense wins when they have a short field, whether it be when the defense stops an opposing team deep in their own territory or generates turnovers. The Steelers cannot allow themselves to fall behind in this battle, especially considering Justin Tucker’s range is practically at midfield.
The Steelers have been one of the best scoring defenses in the league, if they give Baltimore a long field to drive then it could be a long day for the Baltimore offense. On the other hand, if the Steelers are given long fields to drive on it could also be a long day for that offense. Winning the field position battle is integral to a Steelers victory.
Win the Time of Possession Battle
Last week the Steelers were dominating the Titans in the first half. The score showed that and so did the time of possession: 19:41-10:19 in favor of Pittsburgh. Tennessee coming back in the second half was thanks in no small part to the Steelers offense taking their foot off the gas. That being said, the Steelers still won the time of possession battle 36:37-23:23. Winning in the time of possession means long drives that keep your defense fresh and keeps the ball out of the other offense’s hands. Winning this battle would help the Steelers tremendously on Sunday.
Players to Watch:
Baltimore Offense: QB Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Defense: LB Patrick Queen
Pittsburgh Offense: TE Eric Ebron
Pittsburgh Defense: DE Stephon Tuitt