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Know Your Enemy: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens, Week 8

The complete break down on the Baltimore Ravens, from the Steelers perspective.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Steelers take to the road for a battle with their greatest rival on Sunday. Steelers vs Ravens is always a great matchup, but this matchup has some extra spice. The winner walks away with the division lead, and the Steelers could continue its undefeated start to the season.

Location/Time

Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

1PM EDT Sunday, the Steelers will take to the field at M&T Bank stadium. Maryland hasn’t been kind to the Steelers the past number of years. The Ravens have won five of the last seven matchups in games in Baltimore. The All-Time series against the Ravens still favors the Steelers, winning 28 of 52 matchups (including playoffs).


Ravens Best Player

Baltimore Ravens v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Perhaps the easiest choice of the oppositions best player of the season. Lamar Jackson is the reigning MVP for a reason. He’s a dynamic playmaker that challenges every defense with is unmatched ability to run with the football. Jackson hasn't played as well in 2020 then what he was able to do a year ago, but his entire offense has regressed, and is virtually having to do it all on his own. Jackson is a force that can't be taken lightly.


Weakest position group

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Ravens receivers just flat out aren't very good. Marquise brown can make a player here or their but struggles with consistency, Miles Boykin is already teetering on being labeled a bust, Willie Sneed has been missing in action, and rookie Devin Duvernay hasn't done much in limited playing time so far this year. The Steelers defensive backs will have their easiest matchups of the year Sunday.

When you also take into consideration Hayden Hurst is no longer a member of the Ravens, you’ll realize the Steelers can really focus on taking tight end Mark Andrews out of the game.


Coaching

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

John Harbaugh is one of the best, and longest tenured head coaches in football. He’s embraced analytics more than any other coach in the league, and has been extremely successful because of it. Most importantly for this game, Harbaugh is 10-2 coming off of a Bye Week. That last loss was from 2015 from an abysmal Ravens team. It is going to take everything for the Steelers to be victorious on Sunday.


How will the Ravens attack the Steelers defense

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The last time these two teams played the Steelers rolled out a game plan to hit Robert Griffin III as much as possible. Baltimore countered this by running the same inside zone play which led to a number of big plays.

The Ravens play offense like how the Steelers have been playing it this year. They let the defense dictate the matchups and then attack the matchup most in their favor. We won't know the extent of their game plan until we get a quarter into the game Sunday.


How will the Titans defend the Steelers offense

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens have the best staring cornerback duo in the NFL. They use Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters to lock up the oppositions best two receivers, and then bring the blitz in hopes of creating turnovers. With the addition of Yannick Ngakue, the Ravens might blitz less then they typically have this season. Watch out for Calais Campbell who's been dominate for the Ravens.

The Ravens have had a number of injuries on their cornerback depth chart so at least two Steelers receivers should see a favourable matchup. The Steelers will find success against the Ravens front, especially if Ben Roethlisberger can continue to get rid of the football in less than 2.5 seconds. It’s also worth noting the Steelers need to avoid turnovers at all costs as the Ravens defense has a knack for scoring touchdowns of their own.


X-Factor

Baltimore Ravens v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

I have two X-Factors this week. First on offense, Ravens rookie running back, JK Dobbins will likely receive the bulk of carries against the Steelers as regular starter Mark Ingram is doubtful to play with an ankle injury.

Secondly seeing what the newest Raven, Yannick Ngakoue can do is something to keep an eye on. If Baltimore can find a pass rush without having to blitz they will be an extremely difficult team to score on.


Sunday, 1PM EDT. We will see how this all plays out.