The Steelers won their division and grabbed the number three seed in the AFC playoffs that start Saturday Night. Their reward? Facing the Baltimore Ravens for a third time this season. This heated rivalry always goes up a notch when these teams meet in the post season and this time won’t be any different. The two teams split the regular season, both winning at home by 20 points. This time the game will most assuredly be a lot closer.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
• Big Ben tossed six touchdowns the last time these teams faced off and he’s going to have to put up another big day again. With LeVeon Bell out, more pressure falls on Big Ben and Antonio Brown to deliver in the passing game. There is no room for error.
2. Josh Harris, Dri Archer and Ben Tate are going to need to fill the shoes of LeVeon Bell. None of them can do what Bell does, but if they can put together half of his production, as a unit, it will assist in the passing game and really put the pressure on the Ravens defense.
3. William Gay, Antwon Blake and Brice McCain need to keep doing what they’ve been doing. They’ll need to man up against Steve Smith and Torrey Smith and that’s not an easy challenge vertically. These three have played solid ball lately and they’ll need to continue to do so in order to keep the Ravens offense down.
4. The defense must get into the backfield and stuff Justin Forsett who amassed 1,266 rushing yards this season. Additionally, they’ll need to get to QB Joe Flacco and force him into bad throws and the wrong reads.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
• The Rivalry-This rivalry is unmatched in the NFL. There will be a lot of trash talk and it will get extremely physical. It wasn’t selected to be the prime time game by accident.
2. Martavis Bryant-I think he’ll play a big role in this ball game. With Bell out, Brown may grab a lot of attention, leading to big plays out of the big man Bryant.
3. Big Ben-He threw six TD’s against the Ravens the last time they met, how will the Ravens attack him and what will his response be?
4. Ben Tate-Tate was just signed this week, how will he be used, having played in the AFC North before, he’s familiar with the Ravens, can he use his knowledge and assist the Steelers in his first game with the team?
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.