HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN
- TV coverage: Broadcast nationally on NBC, (KDKA-TV locally in Pittsburgh).
- Steelers Radio Network - Game coverage begins at 8:20 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 4:20 p.m.; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game.
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The Steelers are on the road as they face the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
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The Ravens won 16-14 in Pittsburgh Week 14. But before that, the Steelers had a four-game winning streak in this matchup. That brings this series to 32-25 in the Steelers' favor. Since 1996, the Ravens and Steelers have met 56 times, including four postseason battles. Pittsburgh won three of the playoff games. The Steelers have won eight of the last 12, but before that, the Ravens had a four-game winning streak and had won nine of 12. The Steelers did own this series early on, winning six of the first seven matchups. Mike Tomlin is 18-16 against Baltimore and John Harbaugh is 15-17 against the Steelers.
- At 10-5, the Ravens are in second place in the AFC North. Pittsburgh is third at 7-8. The Ravens are 3-1 against divisional foes compared to 1-3 for Pittsburgh. Baltimore is also 7-3 in the conference compared to 3-7 for the Steelers. The Steelers are 4-4 on the road this season, and Baltimore has won five of their seven home contests. The Steelers have a two-game winning streak and have won four of their last five, with that only loss coming against Baltimore. The Ravens have won three of their past five.
- The Ravens offense averages 5.5 yards per play compared to 4.9 by Pittsburgh. But over their most recent three games, both offenses average 5.4 yards every time they snap the football.
- Defensively, only the 49ers and Titans are better than Baltimore's 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, the same number they have allowed over the last three games. The Steelers aren't much different, giving up 4.0 yards per rush attempt (fourth best) for the season as well 3.8 over their last three.
- The Steelers are plus-2 in turnover differential. Baltimore is plus-8, third-best in the league. The Ravens have the fourth-most takeaways with 24. With three more interceptions last week, Pittsburgh's defense leads the NFL with 17. Baltimore has 14 interceptions, which is fifth. The Ravens have taken the ball away via fumble 10 times though compared to just three by Pittsburgh.
- Opponents produce 63.2 more passing yards per game than Baltimore, but the Ravens outrush their opponents by 78.5 yards per game on average.
- The Steelers' offense held the football for 32:39 against Las Vegas. Their time of possession for the season
- The Ravens convert 42.1 percent of their third-down attempts, but their opponents have only converted 32.5 percent of their attempts.
- Pittsburgh is 6-2 this year in games played by T.J. Watt. They have held six of their past seven opponents to 17 points or less with Watt in the lineup.
- The Ravens offense begins their drives with the seventh-best average starting field position. Baltimore's defense begins drives with the 10th-best starting field position, while the Steelers defense starts their average drive in a better location on the field on average than only the Rams, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Jets.
- Since trading for Roquan Smith at the NFL deadline, the Ravens are allowing just 284.4 yards per game. That is the second-best in the league during that timeframe. The best during that stretch has been the Steelers at 272.7.
- If you look at EPA per drive, no defense has improved more than the Ravens during the second half of the season. In Weeks 1 to 8, they ranked 27th. From Week 9 on, Baltimore is third. However, during that same stretch, the Steelers defense went from 21st the first eight weeks of the season to sixth from Week 9 on.
- Baltimore has scored a touchdown on 9.7 percent of its drives since returning from its Week 11 bye, the lowest rate in the league. Also, during that span, the Ravens' defense has allowed a touchdown on 10.2 percent of their opponents drives, also the lowest rate in the league.
- Since John Harbaugh became the Ravens head coach in 2008, these teams have met 29 times, with 23 of those games decided by one score. Seventeen of them have been decided by three points or fewer.
WHEN PITTSBURGH HAS THE BALL
- The Steelers offense is up to 18th in EPA. Pittsburgh is 20th in EPA per drop back and sixth in EPA per rush.
- Baltimore's defense is 13th in overall EPA, 19th in EPA per drop back, and fourth against the run.
- Since Week 9, Pittsburgh's offense is sixth-best in EPA in the NFL. During the first eight games of the year, the Steelers' offense was 32nd in EPA. No team in the league has improved more from the first half of the season to the second half.
- Baltimore's defense has given up just 45 points in its last four games. The Ravens' defense has also allowed more than 14 points just once over their last seven games.
- Kenny Pickett hasn't thrown an interception in five of his last six starts and last week, he joined Ben Roethlisberger as the only rookies in team history with more than 2,000 passing yards.
- Diontae Johnson and George Pickens combined for 160 receiving yards against Baltimore in Week 14. Johnson has 244 yards over his past three games and aims for his sixth game in a row with five or more receptions. Johnson has five or more catches in each of his 16 road games since the start of 2021.
- In his rookie year, Pat Freiermuth caught 60 passes for 497 yards. Thus far, Freiermuth has 60 receptions for 696 yards despite missing a game and fighting a foot injury recently. Last week, Freiermuth ran a route on 88 percent of Pickett's drop backs and played 81 percent of the total snaps, which was his highest mark since Week 2. Freiermuth leads the team with 476 receiving yards with Pickett at quarterback.
- The Steelers' tight end snap count distribution last week was 55 for Freiermuth, 29 for Zach Gentry and 13 for Conner Heyward.
- Baltimore has 44 sacks this year, which ranks fifth in the NFL. Justin Houston leads the way with nine sacks, but no one else on the Ravens defense has six. Houston doesn't have a sack in five games. But 17 different Baltimore defenders have recorded a sack this season.
- Najee Harris has 576 more rushing yards than any other Steelers ball carrier and aims for his third game in a row with 85-plus scrimmage yards.
- Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephens were the only cornerbacks that saw the field for Baltimore last week, but rookie safety Kyle Hamilton played a career-high 50 snaps, often aligning in the slot.
- Only five offenses snap the ball on third downs more often per game than Pittsburgh. The Titans are the only defense allowing less than Baltimore's 32.6 percent third down conversion rate this year. But the Steelers offense is the eighth best this year on third down with a 42.4 percent conversion rate. Over their past three games, Pittsburgh is converting 55.3 percent of these attempts, and since their bye, the Steelers have converted 52 percent of their third-down chances, second-best in the league.
- The Ravens defense allows just 2.2 points on average during the first quarter of games. That is best in the league. In the second quarter of games, only the 49ers are better than Baltimore. However, in the fourth quarters of games this year, Baltimore gives up an average of 7.9 points. Only the Panthers and Colts are worse.
- Baltimore's defense is fourth-best in the league in the red zone.
- During the Harbaugh era, the Ravens are 21-6 against rookie quarterbacks and 14-1 at home against rookie signal callers, including their win last week against Desmond Ridder.
WHEN BALTIMORE HAS THE BALL
- The Ravens offense is 10th in EPA. They are 19th in EPA per drop back and second in rushing EPA behind only the Eagles.
- Baltimore has just 2,644 passing yards (28th in the NFL) and has gained at least 15 yards on just 62 passes this season (29th). Over the past four weeks, the Ravens are averaging 4.7 yards per passing play, 30th in the league.
- Tyler Huntley is averaging just 5.8 yards per pass attempt. That is only ahead of Deshaun Watson and Joe Flacco amongst those with 90-plus pass attempts this year. Lamar Jackson averages 6.9 yards per attempt.
- The first time the Steelers played Baltimore this year, the Ravens mustered just 94 yards through the air. Demarcus Robinson caught five passes for 52 yards in that game, but no other Ravens receiver had more than two catches. Last week, the Raiders threw for just 143 yards in Pittsburgh.
- Against the Falcons, DeMarcus Robinson, DeSean Jackson, and Sammy Watkins each ran a route on 44 percent (eight routes each) of the Ravens' drop backs. Robinson caught a touchdown pass last week, becoming the first Ravens' wide receiver to catch a touchdown since Week 3.
- Mark Andrews has missed one game this year, but he is still Baltimore's leading receiver by 322 yards. This remains true despite Andrews only having 292 receiving yards over his past eight games, an average of just 36.5 yards per game over that stretch. In Andrews' first six games of the season, he produced under 36.5 just once and averaged 75.8 yards per game. Andrews did run a route on every one of Baltimore's drop backs last week.
- Only two offenses throw the ball a lower percentage of the time than Baltimore.
- Alex Highsmith and Cameron Heyward have accounted for 20.5 of the Steelers' 32 sacks this year.
- T.J. Watt has a five-game streak against Baltimore in which he has recorded a sack. Watt has 11 sacks in 11 career games against the Ravens.
- No offense is getting blitzed at a higher percentage of their drop backs in 2022 than the Ravens and Pittsburgh's defense has the NFL's sixth-highest blitz rate.
- Despite appearing in only 12 games, Lamar Jackson is still the Ravens' leading rusher by 337 yards.
- The Ravens produce the NFL's second-most rushing yards per game as well as the second-most rushing yards per attempt.
- J.K. Dobbins has been back from injury for three games now. In those three contests, he has played between 38 and 43 percent of the Ravens' total offensive snaps. Dobbins has only been targeted twice, but he does have 204 rushing yards in those three games, including 120 against the Steelers. But it was Gus Edwards that led Baltimore in rushing last week with 99 yards on the ground. He now has three games in a row with 55-plus rushing yards. Over the last three weeks, Edwards has averaged 5.1, 7.9, and 9.0 yards per carry. Dobbins averages 7.6 yards per carry since returning from injury. Edwards has yet to catch a pass in 2022.
- The Steelers held Josh Jacobs, who was the NFL's leading rusher, to just 2.9 yards per carry last week. That is the lowest average of Jacobs' exceptional season.
- Against the Falcons in Week 16, 300-pound fullback Patrick Ricard played 44 of a possible 52 Ravens offensive snaps. At tight end, Andrews and Josh Oliver were both on the field for 42 snaps. Robinson played the Ravens most wide receiver snaps. He was used on just 28 snaps. Next in line was recently signed Watkins at 17 snaps and Jackson at 15. At running back, Dobbins and Edwards played 22 and 21 snaps, respectively.
- Last week, Robert Spillane played all 63 defensive snaps. The other inside linebackers, Devin Bush and Myles Jack, played 21 and 16 snaps respectively. This is the second-straight week that Spillane has played 100 percent of the defensive snaps and the third time during the 2022 season.
- Heyward and Watt played 100 percent of the third and fourth down snaps last week. Alex Highsmith and Larry Ogunjobi played 91.7 percent of the snaps on third and fourth downs.
- Since 1938, Justin Tucker leads all kickers, hitting 90.4 percent of his field goal attempts. That is nearly 2 percent better than any other kicker in history. Chris Boswell is ninth on the all-time list, making 86.4 percent of his attempts.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
January 15th, 2011: Steelers 31, Ravens 24, Heinz Field
Baltimore manhandled the Chiefs in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, winning 30-7, while the Steelers were on bye to open the post season. After a slow start, Pittsburgh got on the board first with a Rashard Mendenhall touchdown plunge. But the Ravens roared back and took a 21-7 lead into halftime on the road. The third quarter belonged to the Steelers, though, with Ben Roethlisberger throwing touchdown passes to Heath Miller and then Hines Ward to tie the game. Pittsburgh and the Ravens exchanged field goals before Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown 58 yards downfield to put the Steelers on the 2-yard line very late in the game. Mendenhall sealed the Steelers' victory with a touchdown run with just 1:33 remaining. Even with 54 total points scored, this was a defensive battle. Baltimore finished the day with just 126 yards of total offense. Terrell Suggs had three sacks, and the Ravens sacked Roethlisberger six times. James Harrison had three sacks of his own, and Joe Flacco was sacked five times. Baltimore finished with just 35 rushing yards, while the Steelers could only muster 71 yards on the ground in a very physical affair. After edging out the Ravens, Pittsburgh went on to defeat the Jets in the AFC Championship game before finally falling to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
THE ADVANCED SCOUT PODCAST
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FACTS FROM NFL RESEARCH
- Alex Highsmith has a career-high 12.0 sacks in 2022 (T-7th in NFL) - 17 QB hits rank 2nd on team behind Heyward (18)
- Cameron Heyward has 8.5 sacks in 2022 (5th-most in NFL among DTs)
- T.J. Watt has had at least 0.5 sack in each of his last 7 games vs Ravens - Watt had 5 tackles & 1.0 sack in Week 14 vs BAL - Watt: 10.0 sacks vs BAL since 2019 (2nd-most sacks by any player vs one opponent since 2019 behind LV Maxx Crosby with 11.5 vs DEN)
- The Steelers have allowed 17 or fewer points in 5 straight games - Longest active streak in NFL entering Week 17 - Longest streak by Steelers since a 5-game streak in Weeks 12-16, 2019
- Najee Harris leads the Steelers with 843 rush yards in 2022 & needs 157 for a second consecutive season w/ 1,000+ rush yards - Harris needs 179 rush yards to pass Le'Veon Bell for the most in a player's first 2 seasons in Steelers history
- Diontae Johnson leads the Steelers w/ 82 receptions & 809 rec yards in 2022 - George Pickens: 47 receptions (3rd on PIT), 700 rec yds (2nd) in 2022 - Pat Freiermuth: 60 receptions (2nd on PIT), 696 rec yds (3rd) in 2022
- Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins vs. Steelers Linebackers - In these first meeting, Dobbins returned from injury. And in a limited role with just 15 carries, Dobbins racked up 120 rushing yards, including a 44-yard scamper. Since then, the Steelers have put the clamps on opposing running games. It has been a group effort from Pittsburgh's defense, but the Steelers second-level defenders will have to be particularly dialed in against this unique running scheme that Baltimore presents.
- Steelers RB Najee Harris vs. Ravens LB Roquan Smith - Smith has been an outstanding addition to the Ravens defense, and he set the tone in the first meeting, knocking Pickett out of the game early on. Smith is now in the prime of his career and is an excellent combination of great athletic ability and growing knowledge of the game. Smith partners with Patrick Queen on the second level of Baltimore's defense and these two have an excellent combined understanding of zone concepts as well as the ability to match running backs like Harris in man coverage. Smith is also a dangerous blitzer and Pittsburgh's running backs will be called upon to excel in pass protection.