clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ravens vs. Steelers: Rushing for 100 yards as hard as it gets against Baltimore

New, comments

The Steelers have beaten the Ravens often enough, but have not had a running back rush for 100 yards since Jerome Bettis in 2004. What are Le'Veon Bell's chances of topping the century mark in Week 7?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While there's some solace to be taken in the dismal status of the Ravens' offensive line, their defense is still what it has been in the last decade - a unit that will make the Steelers struggle quite a bit to rush for 100 yards.

No Steelers running back has rushed for 100 yards against the Ravens since Jerome Bettis did it in Week 16 of the 2004 season. He went off for a buck 17 in that game, en route to the Steelers' 14th regular season win that year.

They've pretty much shut the door ever since then.

The good news is the Jets also have an outstanding run defense, and could make the argument they have a better front seven than the Ravens do - although both are outstanding, and pose an equal likelihood of stopping the Steelers' fledgling rushing attack. For what the Ravens are struggling with offensively, they're making up for it with solid, old-fashioned defense.

One thing the Steelers have to look forward to, in an odd way, is the fact rookie running back Le'Veon Bell left a few yards on the field in his 16-carry, 34 yard performance against the Jets. While he didn't leave 66 yards out there through missed lanes and blown cutback opportunities, it could have been enough to make his numbers stand out a little bit more than they did.

He's only 32 carries into his career, so there's something to be said about improving game-to-game. Going from the Vikings in Week 4 to the Jets in Week 6 is about as stark a contrast from bad defense to good as he'll ever see, and he'll see a defense much closer to New York's than Minnesota's in Week 7.

However, the Steelers ran just enough to keep the Jets thinking they'd do it. Ben Roethlisberger hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 55-yard touchdown pass off play-action - suckering Antonio Cromartie into reading run on the play.

It's a rare day, indeed, when a Steelers running back reaches 100 yards on the ground, but one that isn't necessary, either. They've beaten the Ravens plenty of times without having the individual stats. But they're going to want to get Bell to that 18-22 touch area again, and if he can continue improving, maybe he'll have a shot at the century mark.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain: