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Been there, done that

For the Steelers' defense, the key to stopping Chicago might well be found in Baltimore.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields will be a threat to run on Monday night at Heinz Field, but for the Steelers the threat is recognizable.

"We play Baltimore twice a year so we get kinda used to that," defensive coordinator Keith Butler observed today.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has carried 558 times for 3,386 yards and 21 touchdowns in his NFL career, an average of 6.1 yards per carry.

But in four games against the Steelers Jackson has only averaged 4.2 yards per attempt and has yet to carry the ball into the end zone.

The Steelers haven't always stopped Jackson cold but they've been able to limit the damage he does with his legs.

They'll attempt to do the same against Fields by applying some of the same defensive principles.

"We try to use some of the same stuff that we've done before against good running quarterbacks," Butler said.

First on the list is taking away the traditional ground game, something the Steelers were able to do quite effectively last Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns' No. 1-ranked rushing attack.

The Browns' 4.2 average on 23 carries was a half yard higher than Butler's stated goal of 3.7 yards or fewer per attempt against, but running back Nick Chubb (16-61-3.8) wasn't able to dictate the game.

That was a critical component of the Steelers' 15-10 victory.

"You gotta take care of the running backs first, try to make them use the quarterback," Butler emphasized.

Fields likely won't need a great deal of encouragement to tuck the ball under his arm.

He's coming off a 10-carry, 103-yard rushing effort in the Bears' 33-22 loss to the 49ers last Sunday.

No Chicago quarterback had rushed for 100 yards in a game since Bobby Douglass in 1973.

Fields also became the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100 yards, rush for a touchdown and throw a touchdown pass in a game (Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota).

No wonder the Steelers intend to play Fields the way they play Jackson.

"We hit him," Butler said.

That includes on the pass rush, on designed runs and even in the immediate aftermath of Jackson handing off and then executing a fake bootleg.

"We're gonna keep doing stuff," Butler continued. "We want the threat of that hit all the time, make those guys understand if they're gonna run the ball they're a running back.

"I hope the referees understand that, too."

It was reminiscent of Butler's treat-him-like-a-running-back declaration before the Steelers played quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills in the regular-season opener on Sept. 12 at Buffalo.

Allen carried nine times for 44 yards and didn't score.

And he fumbled twice, and lost one of those.

Perhaps the key to Chicago can be found in Buffalo as well as Baltimore.