The Pittsburgh Steelers have another test ahead of them in Week 13 of the 2021 regular season when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The Ravens are 8-3 after a Week 12 win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, and with players like Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey, the Steelers will have their hands full.
With all the talk about the big name players for Baltimore, it isn’t as if their roster is perfect. In fact, there are plenty of issues on both sides of the ball. Every unit has their weaknesses. This week I was able to ask Kyle Baber of Baltimore Beatdown several questions leading up to the Week 13 matchup. One of those questions was where he thought the weakness on the Ravens’ offense resided.
Here is what he said about the offense:
The Ravens are missing numerous players on offense and have not been at full strength since the beginning of the season. They lost All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley due to needing a second surgery on his ankle following the game against the Steelers last season. They also lost all three starting running backs to season-ending injuries. The run game’s suffered from said losses. As you may have heard, at one point the team was playing veteran running back Le’Veon Bell, who didn’t quite show the burst he possessed in numerous games for the Steelers against the Ravens. The running game has relied upon quarterback Lamar Jackson to get any big plays. They’ll consistently get a few, but there is no home-run threat.
Another weakness has been Jackson’s passing, recently. He’s forcing plays and it’s resulted in interceptions. He threw four interceptions against the Cleveland Browns last week, and all four were thrown without pressure. Though Jackson has the ability to make all the throws and create something out of truly nothing, he’s been struggling lately and pretending it isn’t there would be silly.
It is no surprise the Ravens’ offense is geared around Lamar Jackson, and his ability to find Mark Andrews when things break down. This isn’t new, and it isn’t easy to stop either. In fact, the Ravens’ offense has been in a point scoring slump lately, and it will be interesting to see if the Steelers’ defense can capitalize.
But what about the Ravens’ defense? Where are the kinks in their armor?
On defense, the Ravens have been a force as of late. The outside linebackers have generated consistent pressure and they’ve bottled up run games. They held running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to only 40 yards combined on Sunday, and did so without defensive end Calais Campbell, who has returned to practice. However, they’ve only recently gotten it together. This defense has a knack for playing lights out for just about every drive, but suddenly experiences a lapse in coverage and you watch an opposing player sprint 50+ yards to the end zone.
The Raven’s ability to stop the Steelers won’t be considered some grand achievement, but on the road against a team with their backs against the wall can always lead to some unforeseen results. Nonetheless, the Ravens’ defense, although they’ve been playing well as of late, has plenty of warts which have popped up throughout the season.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for Week 13 of the 2021 regular season.