Everything You Need to Know: Ravens at Steelers

Basics

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m., Heinz Field

TV: Channel 11, WBAL (Baltimore) NBC crew (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM)

Ravens jersey color: White

Stakes

The Ravens have already lost in Cincinnati and want to avoid falling to 0-2 in the AFC North. A victory would lift the Ravens to 3-1, while dropping the Steelers to 1-2-1. The Ravens have not won the AFC North since 2012, and the division looks wide open this year. Getting a victory at Heinz Field, where the Ravens have not won since 2015, would be huge.

History

The Steelers have gotten the best of this storied rivalry lately, winning the last three meetings. The games are usually close. Six of the last seven Steelers-Ravens games have been decided by seven points or less. Pittsburgh swept the Ravens last season, winning 26-9 in Baltimore and 39-38 at Heinz Field. That December loss in Pittsburgh was devastating for the Ravens, who gave up 19 points in the fourth quarter and failed to hold a 38-29 fourth-quarter lead.

Key Storylines

Can the Ravens' defense rise to the occasion?

On their last two visits to Pittsburgh, the Ravens suffered heartbreaking defeats, as the defense was unable to protect fourth-quarter leads. The Ravens have not surrendered a second-half touchdown this season. But to win this game, the Ravens will have to contain the Steelers' potent offense in clutch situations.

How much will the Steelers miss Le'Veon Bell?

The Steelers still have a potent offense, but Bell is arguably the NFL's best running back. He has been a contract holdout all season, and while James Conner has done a solid job as the lead running back, the Steelers have missed Bell's explosiveness. Not having to deal with Bell could make it easier for the Ravens to contain wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Will the Ravens' new offensive weapons be too much for the Steelers?

Joe Flacco is off to a strong start, and the Steelers rank 29th in the NFL in yards allowed. Flacco and new weapons like wide receivers John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and Willie Snead IV could have their way against the Steelers secondary.

Matchups to Watch

Antonio Brown vs. Ravens secondary

Brown has been a huge problem for the Ravens when cornerback Jimmy Smith (suspended) is not in the lineup. When Smith was out for last year's December meeting, Brown caught 11 passes for 213 yards. Ravens cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr will need to be solid in coverage to keep Brown from making big plays.

Ravens Offensive Line vs. Steelers Pass Rush

The Ravens' offensive line seems to be under the microscope every week. But the Ravens need to jumpstart their running game, and the Steelers are tied for second in the NFL in sacks with 11. If the Ravens protect Flacco and run the ball effectively, he could have a big day against this Steelers defense.

Ravens Special Teams vs. Steelers Special Teams

The Ravens had a punt blocked and a field goal blocked Week 3 against Denver. If the Steelers see a flaw in Baltimore's kick protection, they will try to exploit it. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is the best in the game. Even at Heinz Field, which is challenging for placekickers, Tucker has made 14 of 15 field goals during his career. If the outcome comes down to a Tucker kick, the Ravens like their chances.

Related Content

Advertising