Steelers Vs Ravens Win/Loss Scenarios

Back at it, breaking down what the Pittsburgh Steelers have to do to win (or lose) in tonight’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. My always unreliable prediction at the bottom.

The Steelers Will Win If…

Arthur Moats plays a steady game. Mind you, not a great game. He doesn’t have to have that – he isn’t Ryan Shazier nor should anyone expect him to be. But he is the choice for next man up because of his football IQ. Alignment and communication are going to be critical. Keep your run fit, read your keys, and make the tackle. Don’t need him to win the game. Just don’t want him to lose it.

– They don’t fall for playaction. More macro sticking point for this defense. The Ravens’ offense has to work hard to manufacture big plays in the pass game and it often comes through playaction. Over routes to the X receiver. Hitting the fullback in the flats near the goal line. TE screens off turnovers. They need to be complex to open things up because they simply don’t have the weapons to win.

– They control the line of scrimmage offensively. Pretty obvious one but bouncing off what I wrote yesterday. Brandon Williams and Micheal Pierce are two bricks to try to move. You don’t want to get in third and long against this defense, where DC Dean Pees can dial up pressure (and he loves to do so).

The Ravens Will Win If…

– Their secondary steps up and shuts down. Yeah, they gotta replace Jimmy Smith with Marlon Humphrey, a rookie who has played well but will still have trouble against Antonio Brown (like everyone else). But it’s still a really good group that held AB in check the first time around. No JuJu Smith-Schuster makes me nervous because we haven’t seen the rest of this group step up the way they need to.

– They get to Big Ben. As you’ve heard Mike Tomlin talk about, rush and coverage goes together. So think of this as an extension of the first bullet point. Few teams disguise and mix things up as well as the Ravens do. They have a deep pass rushing group and on third down, get their athletes on the field. Amoeba defense (1 DL) to keep their LBs out and add an extra DB.

– Special teams keeps them in the game. The Ravens know how they have to win. It’s all about field position. For my money, they have the best punter and kicker in the NFL. Sam Koch and Justin Tucker respectively. Koch pins teams deep, their defense gets a three and out, and once their offense hits the 35 yard line, they’re comfortably in field goal range. They don’t have to go far to get points.

Baltimore is the kind of team fine having a 9-0 lead. They’re the kid who builds the baking soda volcano for the science fair. Super boring but hey, it works.

Prediction

Steelers: 20
Ravens: 17

Season Record

8-4

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • heath miller

    who would ever thing arthur moats would be the WIN / LOSE name .. but you are right … hes the charlie batch of this game … charlie didnt have to win the game .. just not lose it … score 10 points and let the D win it 10-9 … and he was the BEST at that.. lets hope arthur can do that too…. what a great guy moats is to have on the team … good man and i wish him the best .. HEEEEATH

  • Sam Clonch

    I could see the Ravens try to get Woodhead out of the backfield often. Take advantage of a new ILB. Seems more their style than trying to capitalize on Sutton/Sensebaugh on the outside, and ESPECIALLY if Maclin is out.

  • melblount

    With Fort and Matakevich as our two primary ILB backups at the time, it was (and still is) unthinkable that we did NOT sign (or at least vigorously pursue) NaVorro Bowman when the 49ers cut him.

  • WeWantDaTruth

    Need to shut down the Ratbird running game, which has been pretty good the last few games. Get Flacco in 3rd and longs. Offensively, might be tough sledding against the Rat’s front….go with lots of passes to Bell out of the backfield.

  • Nolrog

    They would if they are smart.

  • Alex Kozora

    That’s a really good point, Sam.

  • William Weaver

    Moats is such a good guy, it would be fantastic for him to play great today. Would be so fun to see. Maybe a pick and a forced fumble. Hoping he doesn’t just not lose it but becomes a reason for victory! Don’t cross the Moats!!

  • Sam Clonch

    Called it. But really, dropping Hargrave into coverage? HAHAHA!