The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have had many epic showdown‘s since the putrid purple team entered the league in 1996. There are many past statistics and trends over the course of this rivalry, but as most fans know past numbers mean nothing to these teams. In fact, the trends of each team throughout the season leading up to this game may be of little consequence when it comes to a rivalry of this magnitude.
The Baltimore Ravens have been utilizing their tight ends very heavily so far in 2020, particularly in the red zone. With a total of 306 yards and 7 touchdowns between the two tight ends of the Ravens, they are averaging 51 receiving yards per game between Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle.
In years past, the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled covering tight ends. In 2020, this trend has not continued. Surrendering 234 yards and only one touchdown to the tight end position in 2020, the Steelers are holding their opponents to 39 yards per game. With the Ravens utilizing their tight ends so much, it will be a good test for the Steelers defense.
This is Jeff Hartman‘s favorite number coming into this game as Lamar Jackson has only had two games in 2020 were he has passed for more than 200 yards. It just so happens these two games were the first two games of the season. While some could chalk up the Ravens having a lead and not needing to pass the ball as to the reason, in Baltimore’s only loss on the season against Kansas City, Jackson completed 15 passes out of 28 attempts for only 97 yards on the game. For comparison sake, Ben Roethlisberger has gone over 200 passing yards in every game for the Steelers this season except for their 38–7 win over the Cleveland Browns Rothlisberger where he had a season low 22 attempts.
Baltimore Ravens’ quarterbacks have rushed for a total of 347 yards on the season. Lamar Jackson holds 346 of those yards as Robert Griffin III has one rushing yard. Currently, Lamar Jackson is the second ranked rushing quarterback in the NFL only behind Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have only given up 53 total rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks in 2020. Although they are getting ready to face Lamar Jackson who is second in the league in rushing, they faced three of the top 10 rushing quarterbacks in the NFL. Currently, Daniel Jones of the New York Giants is ranked third in rushing yards by a quarterback, Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles is ranked seventh, and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans is ranked 10th. So the Steelers have faced quality running quarterbacks, but instead they have contained them. Jones has had the most success running of any running quarterback against the Steelers in 2020 as he had 22 yards on four carries. On average, NFL teams have given up 123.6 rushing yards on the season to quarterbacks.
The Baltimore Ravens have had four wide receivers catch passes in 2020 for a total of 737 yards and two touchdowns. In all, the Ravens receivers have only averaged 122.8 receiving yards per game with a touchdown every three games.
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have had five wide receivers catch passes in the 2020 season for a total of 1,048 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Steelers wide receivers are averaging 174.7 yards per game as well as two touchdowns. So the Steelers wide receivers are averaging as many touchdowns per game as what the Ravens’ wide receivers have total on the year.
So there are some numbers in regards to the Steelers and the Ravens when it comes to their first matchup of the 2020 season. Although there could be crazy amounts of numbers to talk about with these two teams so far this season, I decided to highlight a couple things just for the sake of doing them. As stated before, the numbers can often be thrown out the window when it comes to when these two teams take the field. Being the first time Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger will start in the same game in this rivalry, this Sunday is shaping up to be an epic showdown where the winner is guaranteed to take the lead in the AFC North.