Ravens vs. Steelers Preview

Sports and Bets — September 11, 2014 at 5:01 am by

While it’s impossible to have a must-win game in Week 2, this is an undeniably huge game for the Ravens. Since the NFL went to a 12 team playoff format in 1990, only 23 of the 196 teams that started 0-2 went on to make the playoffs, which is 11.7%. I don’t even want to know how shitty the odds are if both of a team’s losses occurred in the division. Throw in the fact that this is a primetime game against our arch nemesis, and this is one of the most important September games that I can recall. For the Ravens to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start, they’ll need to get out to a fast start, control the line of scrimmage, and repeatedly beat the fuck out of Ben Roethlisberger.

2014 Stats (per game)

Points – Baltimore: 16, Pittsburgh: 30

Points Allowed – Baltimore: 23, Pittsburgh: 27

Pass Yards – Baltimore: 329, Pittsburgh: 363

Rush Yards – Baltimore: 91, Pittsburgh: 127

Pass Yards Allowed – Baltimore: 301, Pittsburgh: 206

Rush Yards Allowed – Baltimore: 79, Pittsburgh: 183

Turnover Differential – Baltimore: minus-2, Pittsburgh: minus-1

Injury Report

Ravens

CB Lardarius Webb – Questionable (Back)

 Steelers

RB/WR Dri Archer – Out (Ankle)

WR Lance Moore – Out (Groin)

Ravens Offense vs. Steelers Defense

The Ravens’ best hope for a fast start would be to establish a strong running game, and hypnotize Joe Flacco into thinking that every quarter is the fourth quarter. I’ve never seen a quarterback take so long to get into the flow of the game week in and week out. It’s mind-boggling. Last week, the Browns gashed Pittsburgh for 183 yards on 30 carries. Giving Pittsburgh a steady diet of Justin Forsett and Bernard Pierce early on could open up some big plays through the air later in the game. Speaking of big plays, Torrey Smith was a thorn in Pittsburgh’s side last season. In two games, Smith combined to catch nine balls for 154 yards and a TD.

torrey

Steelers Offense vs. Ravens Defense

Call me crazy, but I think that this game will bare a much closer resemblance to a shootout than an old school Baltimore/Pittsburgh slobberknocker. This Pittsburgh defense was just torched by the Browns at home, and I’m very concerned about the Ravens’ lack of a pass rush last week. Andy Dalton wasn’t sacked or hit once in his 38 drop backs. Roethlisberger also has some serious weapons in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Bell looks ready to make a big leap in his second year, while Brown has already developed into a top 10 WR. Hopefully, the Ravens will get Webb back this week, and get a big game from their D-line. In 21 career games against Pittsburgh, Terrell Suggs has 15 sacks.

suggsandben

Rapid Fire Facts

  • According to Pro Football Focus, Flacco lead the NFL with 110 passing yards lost to drops last week.
  • 9 of the last 10 regular season games between the Ravens and Steelers have been decided by three points or fewer.
  • The Ravens have won 7 of their last 8 primetime home games. (Late For Work)
  • In 14 career games against the Ravens, Roethlisberger is 8-6. He’s completed 58.4% of his passes, averaged 224 yards per game, and thrown 21 TDs to 15 INTs.
  • In 12 career starts against Pittsburgh, Flacco is 6-6. He’s completed 58.3% of his passes, averaged 218.9 yards per game, and thrown 13 TDs to 5 INTs.

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