10/30/20-Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

By: Mike Pelaia


The Pittsburgh Steelers roll into Baltimore at 6-0 to face the 5-1 Ravens on Sunday afternoon.  The battle for AFC North supremacy will be a good one.  As always, I expect this game to come down to the end and be decided by a touchdown or less. 

The Steelers main concern will be stopping NFL reigning MVP, quarterback Lamar Jackson.  Jackson has only thrown two interceptions this season compared to his 10 touchdown passes and leads the Ravens in rushing yards with 346, with another two scores. 

Unlike previous games where the Steelers largely stuffed the oppositions running back, Jackson provides a different element the team hasn’t seen yet this season.  He’s a scrambler that can make plays happen at any time. If the Steelers collapse the pocket, Jackson will take off and someone is going to have to stop him. 

I’m looking for Vince Williams and Robert Spillane to step up and keep him contained but that’s no easy task.  If he gets past them, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds better be there to prevent the long yardage gains. 

The entire key to the game will be limiting Jackson’s mobility.  While he completes 63% of his passes and has a 99.2 passer rating, I don’t fear his arms as much as I do his legs.  Jackson can be forced into mistakes and that’s where edge rushers TJ Watt and Bud Dupree will be a factor.  If they can collapse the pocket and force Jackson to throw vs. run, the Steelers will have far more success on defense. 

Jackson certainly hasn’t seen a defense as quick as the Steelers this season yet and he’ll be challenged by the black and gold as much as he’ll challenge them. 

Defensively, the Ravens are good but the guy who has the biggest impact in my mind is Calais Campbell. He leads the team in sacks (4) and tackles for loss (6) and has had some big games against the Steelers in the past.

The goal for the Steelers offense should be to control the clock and keep Ben Roethlisberger off the ground.  James Conner may need to run the ball 20-25 times and average at least four yards per carry. I’ve given Conner a lot of grief over the past year but I have to admit, he’s had a very productive season thus far and he really could be the difference in the game this week.

What it will most likely come down to will be special teams and penalties.  The team who commits the most stupid penalties or doesn’t kick well will be the one who has their backs against the wall at the end of the game.  Jordan Berry and Chris Boswell need to be effective in their punts and kickoffs to ensure the defense is set up on the Ravens side of the field and Boswell needs to remain perfect in his field goal and extra point accuracy.

At the end of the day, we are looking at two Super Bowl contenders who are trying to win one of the best divisions in the NFL to ensure a home game in the playoffs. This is the first of two epic battles to come and I fully expect the teams to split the season series.  With that said, I think the Ravens will get this first one and discontinue the Steelers perfect season by the score of 23-20.


2 Comments on "10/30/20-Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens"

  1. kiki on Fri, 30th Oct 2020 3:18 pm 

    I think you are right, but one never knows. It should be a close game either way.

  2. longarm on Fri, 30th Oct 2020 3:35 pm 

    This should have been a Sunday or Monday night game, The NFL screwed up not scheduling as such. I’m looking forward to this one as always and hope the Steelers will remain undefeated.