Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

GAME 6 MATCHUP: STEELERS VS RAVENS [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

GAME 6 MATCHUP: STEELERS VS RAVENS [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

GAME PLAN

When the Ravens have the ball: Stop if this sounds familiar. The Ravens brought in Juan Castillo to be their run-game coordinator and introduce more finesse and zone-blocking in the offense. But, after six games, they rank 27th in the league and average 2.7 yards per attempt, lower even than the Steelers (3.1). Ray Rice looks nothing like a three-time Pro Bowler. Bernard Pierce, who leads the team with 208 yards, averages 2.8 ypc. Do not be surprised if the Ravens revert to their old style of power, combo-blocking against the Steelers, who have allowed an 114.8 yards rushing per game. Part of the problem has been the offensive line, where LT Bryant McKinnie has been replaced by newcomer Eugene Monroe, injuries have hampered G Kelechi Osemele and G Marshal Yanda, and C Gino Gradkowski has struggled. Additionally, QB Joe Flacco has been sacked 19 times. That should help the Steelers, who have only seven sacks in five games. Flacco, though, remains one of the best deep passers in the league. His favorite target is WR Torrey Smith, who averages 20.3 yards on a team-high 28 catches.

When the Steelers have the ball: The Ravens lost many key players from their Super Bowl defense. But their front seven remains strong, led by NT Haloti Ngata and OLB/DE Terrell Suggs. And the free-agent addition of OLB Elvis Dumervil has strengthened their pass rush. Suggs is off to one of his best starts after losing 20 pounds. He and Dumervil (5), who plays mostly in sub packages, have combined for 12 of the team's 22 sacks. Daryl Smith, signed in free agency from the Jaguars, has played better than expected and leads the team with 53 tackles and two INTs. Jimmy Smith is big and physical and has emerged as the team's top cornerback, but Lardarius Webb is coming off his second reconstructive knee surgery in three years. They will have to contain Antonio Brown, who has 30 catches for 370 yards in his past three games. The Ravens have replaced safeties Reed and Pollard with rookie Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo, and that has created problems in the middle of the field.

KEEP AN EYE ON

TE Dallas Clark ... The Ravens have been trying to find a replacement for tight end Dennis Pitta, who is on short-term injured reserve, and Clark is starting to fill that role. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.