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Steelers vs. Ravens: 3 Steelers players who need to have big games to win Sunday night

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The Pittsburgh Steelers can win back-to-back games for the first time this season, but these three players will need to step up.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

What can be said about the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens that hasn’t already been said. There’s a sense of both respect and dislike between the two fan bases. It may not be the longest-tenured rivalry but, in my opinion, it’s one of the purest in all of football.

Dating back to September 8, 1996, the two teams have played a total of 48 games with Pittsburgh holding a 27-21 advantage. They’ve met in the playoffs four times with Pittsburgh holding a 3-1 edge in those matchups.

This is a huge game for both teams, each trying to establish dominance in the AFC North, and I don’t see why this won’t be one of those epic battles to which we’ve grown accustomed. The Steelers will need solid games from everyone to be successful, but I’ll give you three players who need to shine if we want to see Pittsburgh walk away with early bragging rights.

Chris Boswell

As of late, The Wizard of Boz has been anything but magical. Our normally-accurate kicker has missed three out of four attempts on the year, and the most alarming of his seasonal stats are the two extra points missed. To say he’s in a funk is an understatement, and he needs to get this case of the shanks worked out before Sunday night,

In the teams’ previous 48 meetings, 20 have been decided by three points or less. Dating back to 2009, 12 of the last 20 have been decided by three points or fewer. We know they have a great kicker in Justin Tucker — the question is, will ours come out of hibernation?

Cameron Heyward

It’s time for our stud D-lineman to break out and have a great game. Heyward, who’s coming off of an incredible 2017 season, has only one sack to his credit and doesn’t seem to be as disruptive this year. He’s totaled 11 tackles with only two TFLs. In 2017, Heyward had 17 of those. It’s still early in the season, and stats don’t tell the whole story, but I would love for No. 97 to give fans a signature game on Sunday night.

In the last meeting with Baltimore, Alex Collins gashed the Steelers early and often, and I have no idea as to why they stopped using him in that game. His stat line: 18 attempts 120 yards 6.7 avg also had 2 catches for 46 yards. Looking back at the earlier meeting, he had 9 carries for 81 yards for a unhealthy 9 yards a carry. Needless to say, he’s had some success against the Black-and-gold. The Defensive Captain needs to lead by example.

James Conner

This isn’t to say that Conner hasn’t been doing work. It’s more of an acknowledgement that, as a team, the Steelers need some balance on offense. Baltimore has had a way of making it tough sledding for our backs. This certainly depends on our O-line, but Conner will need to get tough yards in this matchup and prove he can be disruptive. These are tough and physical games between arch-rivals, and this is Conner’s first start as the feature back. Sometimes it’s not just the total stat line, but more a case of simply bringing it against these guys.

Let me know what you think in the comment section.