The Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) take on the Baltimore Ravens (3-3) in an AFC North clash. The game will be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 and the game will be broadcasted on CBS.
These two team’s can’t afford to lose this crucial AFC North battle. The Ravens got the best of the Steelers last season by winning in Pittsburgh but the Steelers returned the favor by beating the Ravens in Baltimore. But there was something missing in these games that may make “big” difference come Sunday’s game.
That missing piece is two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, “Big” Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger didn’t play in either of the two Steelers and Raven’s games last season. The first game, that was won by the Ravens in Pittsburgh, the quarterback for the Steelers was Byron Leftwich. In the second game played in Baltimore, veteran backup quarterback, Charlie Batch led the Steelers to an emotional win over the Ravens.
Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t faced the Ravens since December of 2011. Roethlisberger has to be looking forward to playing in this heated rivalry. There’s no question the Steelers are a different team when Roethlisberger’s out there. Perhaps if the Big Ben plays in both of those games last season, the Steelers win both.
The Steelers are coming off their first win of the season. The Steelers defeated the New York Jets, 19-6. The Ravens are coming off their third loss of the season. Baltimore was defeated by the Green Bay Packers, 19-17.
Both team’s aren’t where they want to be and both are still trying to iron out some kinks. The Ravens are looking to amount some kind of running game. Ray Rice hasn’t been the same Ray Rice we’ve come to know over the past few season while the Steelers are struggling when it comes to their offensive line play amongst other issues.
The Ravens will look to take advantage of a weak Steelers’ offensive line. The Ravens have been good at getting to Roethlisberger and will look to continue that success on Sunday. The Steelers will need to make sure the Ravens can’t get Rice going early and put the pressure on quarterback, Joe Flacco. Last week the Steelers applied soild pressure on Geno Smith that caused him to turn the ball over twice. If the Steelers defense can generate some turnovers in this one they’ll definitely have the upper hand.
The Steelers offense will need to build off their success of last week with more “splash” plays. Last week, Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders on a 55-yard pass play to score the only touchdown in the game against the Jets. The Steelers need to get more of these big impact plays going forward.
The Steelers and Raven’s rivalry has become one of the top rivalries in the NFL and in a weak AFC North division, this game is huge. If the Steelers can beat the Ravens, just like that they’re back in it. If the Steelers drop t0 1-5, the season’s most likely in the bag. A game with huge implications between two teams who aren’t to fond of one another should make for a great ball game.