When the Pittsburgh Steelers walk into M&T Bank Stadium to face the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night, one of the biggest match-ups in the game will be the veteran cornerback, Ike Taylor, vs. the Ravens number one receiving threat, Torrey Smith.
Smith has amazing speed and could very well have a huge game going against Taylor who looked slow, confused and bewildered against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, and that was a Browns receiving corps without Josh Gordon.
On top of the simple fact that Taylor seems to have seen his best days pass by, Smith always seems to make the big play that pays huge dividends for Baltimore. In the first match-up of 2013, the Steelers held Smith to only three receptions for 61 yards. The chief issue being that one of those catches was for 41 yards.
In the second meeting between the two teams, Smith had a much better outing catching six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Again, one of those catches was a 54-yard deep ball thrown by Joe Flacco.
Flacco will look to go to Smith downfield early and often, especially if Taylor is matched up against him. That's a match-up the Ravens could, and should, exploit throughout the game.
The Steelers ability to counter that match-up and roll safety help to Taylor's side will put more pressure on Cortez Allen and William Gay to do their jobs on more of an island and without any consistent help over the top.
Although the Ravens receiving corps hasn't been the same since Anquan Boldin departed, they still have plenty of weapons at their disposal to make the Steelers average secondary pay for their miscues.