Key matchups: OTs Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert vs. OLBs Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil

Patrick Smith

Elvis Dumervil has been everything Baltimore hoped he'd be when they picked him up in free agency. The Steelers' tackles will need to step up to slow him down, as well as Steelers-killer Terrell Suggs.

A clerical error may have cost Ravens defensive end a few million bucks this offseason, but the Steelers were the ones who ultimately lost.

Denver offered Dumervil a reduced salary to stay with the Broncos, a deal he reportedly was willing to accept, but his agent claims his fax was delivered before the team's deadline. The team says they never got it, so they released Dumervil.

He signed with Baltimore, giving him a chance to do what he's done throughout his career; get after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In fact, if Dumervil has a rival in per-game production against the Steelers, it's his teammate, Terrell Suggs. With 16 career sacks of Roethlisberger, no player has caused more chaos among the Steelers' offense than Suggs. Dumervil has 3.5 sacks in four games against Pittsburgh, along with scores of pressure.

The Steelers have been dreading this Week 7 match-up, having to see both of them coming from different spots on the field.

Putting left tackle Kelvin Beachum - in his second career start at the position - and right tackle Marcus Gilbert against them appears to be the most lopsided match-up in this game.

There's some hope, though. Beachum improved steadily throughout last week's win over the Jets in facing a defensive front seven that's every bit as active and powerful as Baltimore's. Gilbert struggled in that same game, though, and with the fact Suggs and Dumervil will go at both of them at various times, their ability to keep the pair at bay (they have 12 sacks between them, five more than the Steelers have as a team) will be instrumental in the Steelers' success in the passing game.

And the passing game has been the Steelers' offensive lifeblood this season. Averaging over 270 passing yards a game, Pittsburgh has gotten the ball down the field successfully, but they're going to need to employ a shorter strategy to keep Suggs and Dumervil from causing turnovers, hits on Roethlisberger and long yard situations.

How well they'll be able to do that is a legitimate question. And concern.

The Steelers will likely employ more 2-TE sets, but without David Johnson (dislocated wrist, placed on IR earlier this week), the Steelers would have David Paulson in those sets, and he isn't a strong pass blocker.

It's more of a question of "when" than "if" Dumervil and Suggs will make plays, but the Steelers' ability to complete screens and swing passes over them will be critical.

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