The Steelers head into their Week 13 game the biggest underdogs they've been in quite a while. They'll need to find a way to overcome mass amounts of injuries on the offensive side of the ball if they wish to avoid dropping their fourth straight game to the division-leading Ravens
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Date: Dec. 2, 2012
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Match-ups: Steel City Insider
TV Schedule: CBS national broadcast
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play) Phil Sims (color)
Radio stream: Steelers Radio Network WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Odds: Ravens -8
Weather: 57 degrees, winds 9 mph out of the south
Nothing is working in favor of the Steelers in this game. There's no Ben Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley, there might not be a Willie Colon appearance, and Ed Dickson, perhaps the worst blocking tight end in the NFL, doesn't appear like he'll make it on the field.
What's a team to do?
The Steelers likely will have planted seeds in the public's head about sticking with what they've been doing, but the fact is they cannot be the same team on the offensive side of the ball with the amount of players they have sitting this game out.
So what will that mean? Is there any chance the Steelers are quietly working on a new kind of game plan, one that harnesses the strengths of Charlie Batch - rhetoric of him being able to make throws deep down the field aside - and finds a way to run the ball effectively?
Maybe it's always been there.
Haley saw the results of his offense catering to the pass a little bit more than the run in the first game between these teams. Pittsburgh defeated Baltimore one offensive touchdown to none, but could not get fourth quarter points - and this isn't a Ravens team unfamiliar with winning close games late.
Considering the Ravens' firepower, and pretty much insurmountable lead in the division race, it seems likely the Ravens will simply try to throw haymakers at the Steelers' defense, knowing its offense can't keep pace.
If the opportunity arises, though, the Steelers will have to counter with a ball-control offense, operating at a methodical pace, with precision and concern in all aspects of operation.