Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens
- QuarterbackBen Roethlisberger knows that he has a big job in front of him, because whenever the Steelers face their archrivals from Baltimore, it means he will be facing a physical opponent that will be intent on taking it to him. While Roethlisberger is a big man who can handle the punishment, it is both emotionally and physically grating.Joe Flacco usually finds a way to get the job done against the Steelers – particularly when the Ravens are playing at home. Flacco has great arm strength, and if his offensive line can give him just a little bit of time, he should be able to deliver the ball with velocity and accuracy. Look for Flacco to be at his best in the late stages of the fourth quarter.
- OffenseThe Steelers made it to the playoffs last year when they recorded a crucial 31-27 victory over the Ravens in Week 16. The key to that triumph – and much of the Steelers’ overall success – is wideout Antonio Brown. He is a spectacular talent who comes up with crucial plays nearly every game. Running back Le’Veon Bell is a superstar in his own right and Martavis Bryant is a dangerous complementary receiver.The Ravens don’t have the high talent level on their roster that compares with the Steelers, but John Harbaugh’s offense is quite competitive and capable of getting the best of the Pittsburgh defense. Javorius “Buck” Allen is giving the Ravens a lift at running back, and Jeremy Maclin can be a game-breaking wideout.
- DefenseThe Steelers have slowly but surely taken to defensive coordinator Keith Butler’s system, and while there are some holes, the Pittsburgh defense is quite aggressive and capable of making big plays and intimidating opponents. Veteran James Harrison is still the sheriff in Pittsburgh, while Bud Dupree can turn the corner and rush the passer.The Ravens have a few defensive issues, but they almost always manage to play their most effective defensive game against the Steelers. The biggest issue is the aging process, as they are dependent on Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle. While both players may have lost a step, they make up for that issue with greater know-how.
- Special TeamsThe Steelers do an excellent job in punt and kickoff coverage, and they can turn to Brown to create big plays in the return game. PK Chris Boswell is not going to get nervous when he has to attempt a key FG attempt when the game is on the line.The Ravens have set high standards with their special-teams play over the years, and that’s something that John Harbaugh is always going to demand from his players. Justin Tucker is probably the best placekicker in the game and Sam Koch is a sharp punter.
The Steelers are almost certainly the more talented team this year, but the Ravens play them tougher than anybody aside from New England. Look for the Ravens to win this game at home.