Offensive line is banged up
The Steelers have gone through their share of issues along the offensive line this season. The problems started right away, as Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first series of the first game. The issues have continued since then. Tackle Mike Adams, a second-round pick last year, has been a disappointment so far. Then the Steelers traded for left tackle Levi Brown from the Arizona Cardinals, but he suffered a triceps injury during pre-game warmups last week and is done for the season. Brown’s season ended before he even played a snap in Pittsburgh, and that leaves the Steelers' already thin offensive line with another person to replace.
Problems persist in running game
The Ravens running game has been a topic of discontent in Baltimore this season, but the Steelers have been even worse at moving the ball on the ground. Pittsburgh ranks 31st in the NFL at rushing offense, averaging just 61 yards per game. The Steelers do not have a single player on their team with 100 rushing yards on the season. Running back Felix Jones leads the team with 92 rushing yards and rookie Le’Veon Bell is right behind him with 91 yards on the ground. The Steelers have historically been able to pound the ball on the ground, but that has not been the case through their first five games this season.
Ben Roethlisberger is healthy
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed both games against the Ravens last year because of injuries. The two-time Super Bowl champion has dealt with a variety of injuries throughout his 10-year career and played a full 16-game season just once. But Roethlisberger is healthy at this point in the season, and the Steelers are relying on him to carry their offense. Roethlisberger has averaged 299 passing yards a game, sixth best in the NFL. With a lackluster running game, the Steelers are riding Roethlisberger’s arm and the Ravens will have to stop him if they are going to win Sunday.
Aging defense, some new faces
Some of the faces that Ravens fans are used to seeing in the black and gold won’t be at Heinz Field this week. James Harrison is in Cincinnati. Larry Foote is on injured reserve. Casey Hampton was not re-signed. The Steelers are going through transition at some defensive positions, as linebacker Jarvis Jones and defensive end Cameron Heyward have both moved into starting roles. However, the Steelers have not undergone a total defensive overhaul, as Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel and Lamarr Woodley are all still in the starting lineup.
Antonio Brown leading the receivers
Former No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace parted ways with the Steelers this offseason by signing a big contract with the Miami Dolphins. Now Antonio Brown is the leader of the receiving corps, and he ranks seventh in the NFL with 498 receiving yards. Brown also has 41 catches, the second-best mark in the league. The Ravens did a good job containing Brown last season, holding him to five catches for 58 yards in the only game he played against them. The No. 2 receiving option for the Steelers is Emmanuel Sanders, who has 301 receiving yards and a touchdown on the season.