Cheat Sheet: Steelers vs. Ravens

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN

  • TV coverage: Broadcast nationally on CBS, (KDKA-TV locally in Pittsburgh).
  • Steelers Radio Network - Game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 9:00 a.m.; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game.
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INJURY UPDATE

The Steelers are back at home as they face the Ravens at Acrisure Stadium.
Check out the most updated Injury Report: Click here >>>

SERIES HISTORY

The Steelers won the last meeting between these two foes in Week 18 of the regular season last season. Pittsburgh swept the Ravens last year as well as in 2020 and has a four-game winning streak against Baltimore. That brings this series to 32-24 in the Steelers' favor. The first year this franchise was in Baltimore was 1996. Since then, the Ravens and Steelers have met 55 times, including four postseason battles. Pittsburgh won three of the playoff games. The Steelers have won eight of the last 11, 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 18-15 against Baltimore and John Harbaugh is 14-17 against the Steelers.

MATCHUP OVERVIEW

  • The Ravens are 2-0 in the AFC North. Baltimore has a plus-49-point differential. However, since the bye week, Pittsburgh has outscored its four opponents by 13 points. Baltimore won by one-point last week and lost by one point the game before. The Ravens have won five of their last six games.
  • Baltimore's offense averages 5.6 yards per play, but over its most recent three games that number is just 5.0 yards per offensive snap. On the other hand, the Steelers offense averages 4.8 yards per play, but over their past three that number stands at 5.1. Pittsburgh averaged 5.4 yards per play last week while the Ravens offense averaged 4.1.
  • On the defensive side of the ball the Ravens have allowed 5.4 yards per play and Pittsburgh gives up 5.7.
  • The Ravens are plus-6 in turnover differential. Only the Eagles and Cowboys are better. Pittsburgh is now up to plus-3. Only three teams have taken the ball away more than Baltimore, which has 20 takeaways on the season. The Steelers have 17 takeaways even though their 3 fumble recoveries are a league low. However, the Eagles are the only defense with more interceptions than Pittsburgh.
  • The run game has produced 122 of Baltimore's 252 first downs. Just 60 of the 227 first downs the Ravens have allowed have come on the ground.
  • The Ravens are converting 44 percent of their third down opportunities, but their defense allows a third down conversion just 31 percent.
  • Pittsburgh's offense converts 39.5 percent of its third down attempts. The Steelers defense allows a 39-percent conversion rate.
  • Baltimore's opponents throw for 55.6 more passing yards per game than the Ravens. But the Ravens rush for 75.3 more yards per game than their opponents. Baltimore also averages 1.4 more yards per rushing attempt than its opponents.
  • The Steelers are now seventh in the league, holding the ball on average for 30:55 per game. Over the last three games, Pittsburgh has held the football for 31:53 on average. However, only Washington is better than the Ravens with time of possession this year, and Baltimore has held the ball for 32:47 over its past three contests. Both teams possessed the ball for well over 32 minutes in their most recent game.
  • Going back to 1995, NFL teams were 0-206 when failing to exceed 10 points scored, committing two turnovers and forcing none. The Ravens' victory made it 1-206. Denver lost that game despite leading for 98 percent of offensive and defensive snaps. Despite 121 plays being run in that game, it yielded just 19 total points.
  • Over the last four games, Ravens games are averaging sixth-fewest combined snaps and third-fewest points. During that stretch, Baltimore is scoring 16.7 points per game while allowing 13.3.
  • The Ravens' four losses are by a combined 12 points. The last team to have 4-plus losses by 12 or fewer combined points was the 2010 Packers, who went on to beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.
  • Since 2018, the Ravens are 25-5 against opponents with a losing record at the time. Kansas City is the only team better during that period of time.
  • Three NFL teams have a tight end as their leading receiver in yardage: Kansas City, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
  • The Steelers' remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of exactly .500. Baltimore (twice) is the only team with a winning record currently on that slate. Baltimore's remaining opponents have a current winning percentage of just .459, and the Bengals are the only remaining team on their schedule with a winning record.
  • Baltimore is just 1-5 without Lamar Jackson in the lineup since he became the starting quarterback.
  • Since 1990 and remember, for the bulk of that time period, only six teams per conference went to the playoffs, teams that start 5-8 go to the post season less than 1 percent of the time, while teams that start 6-7 end up in the playoffs 14.3 percent of the time … just sayin'!

WHEN PITTSBURGH HAS THE BALL

  • The Steelers offense is now up to 22nd in EPA per play. The Steelers are 26th in EPA per drop back and seventh in rushing EPA. Pittsburgh's offense produces 1.56 points per drive.
  • Baltimore's defense is 14th in EPA. The Ravens come in at 16th in EPA per drop back and fifth against the run in EPA. Baltimore's defense allows 1.97 points per drive, which is 14th best in the league. Only one defense sees a higher percentage of pass plays (64.4 percent) than the Ravens.
  • When combining EPA and Completion Percentage Over Expectation, Kenny Pickett is now 22nd among quarterbacks. That is just behind Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins and one spot ahead of Aaron Rodgers.
  • Pickett averages 7.5 air yards per passing attempt. That is 20th in the NFL, but also tied with Patrick Mahomes. Only 11 qualified quarterbacks have a better completion percentage (69.3 percent) than Pickett. Pickett hasn't thrown an interception in three of his four home games.
  • Diontae Johnson got a massive 38 percent of the targets last week in Atlanta.
  • George Pickens is fourth among all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards.
  • Since Week 10, Pat Freiermuth has played a higher percentage of his snaps in the slot and has received a 23 percent target share, a very high percentage for a tight end. However, last week Freiermuth ran a route on just 55 percent of the drop backs and has four or fewer receptions in four of his past five games. His 1.89 yards per route run ranks fifth among all NFL tight ends.
  • The Cowboys, Eagles, Patriots and Buccaneers are the only defenses in the league with more sacks than Baltimore, which has gotten to opposing quarterbacks 37 times this season.
  • After rushing for 154 yards in Atlanta, the Steelers now have 734 rushing yards over their last five games.
  • Najee Harris has been on the field for 66 percent of the Steelers offensive snaps this year. Last week, he was also used for two-thirds of the offensive plays. Harris has 90-plus scrimmage yards in three of his last four games and has scored a touchdown in every AFC North matchup this year.
  • The Ravens defense yields just 3.8 yards per rush attempt. Only San Francisco is better. Over their past five games, the Ravens are surrendering just 50.8 rushing yards per game. Since Week 8, the Ravens have allowed opposing running backs to average a measly 2.6 yards per carry.
  • Last week, Pittsburgh converted 50 percent of their third down attempts (6 of 12). Over their last four games, the Steelers have also converted on exactly 50 percent of their attempts, gaining a first down on 30 of those 60 third down tries.
  • Calais Campbell only played 64 percent of the defensive snaps for the Ravens last week but was on the field for 92 percent of the third- and fourth-down snaps.
  • Among Ravens safeties, Chuck Clark and Geno Stone never left the field against Denver. But rookie Kyle Hamilton also played 55 percent of Baltimore's defensive snaps last week. And 66 percent of Hamilton's snaps were him aligned in slot. At cornerback, Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey played every snap, but no other Ravens cornerback played more than 15 percent of the snaps. Peters aligns over the wide receiver to the quarterback's right on over 90 percent of his snaps.

WHEN BALTIMORE HAS THE BALL

  • The Ravens rank 10th in EPA per play. They are 17th in EPA per drop back and second in rushing EPA. Baltimore's offense generates 2.44 points per drive, which is fifth-best in the league. However, last week was the Ravens lowest point production of the season.
  • The Steelers defense is 21st in EPA. They are 22nd in EPA per drop back and are 20th against the run in EPA. Pittsburgh's defense allows 2.13 points per drive. That ranks 20th.
  • Lamar Jackson lasted just 10 snaps before exiting the game for good last week, giving way to Tyler Huntley, who quarterbacked the remaining 62 plays. Huntley's yards per attempt was just 5.8 yards. Brock Purdy was the only quarterback lower last week. Last season, Huntley was also at 5.8 yards per attempt, 39th of a possible 42 passers. In Huntley's five games he appeared in last year, he turned the ball over seven times and took 18 sacks.
  • In last week's game, Huntley completed all 22 of his attempts of 10 or fewer air yards. Huntley threw 47 percent of his passes outside the numbers. For the season, Jackson attempts just 36 percent of his passes outside the numbers.
  • In the final game of the 2021 regular season, Huntley faced the Steelers. In an overtime game, Baltimore scored just 13 points. Huntley completed 16 of 31 passes for 141 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He did rush for 72 yards on 16 carries and the Ravens finished that day with 249 yards on the ground.
  • Over the past four weeks, Baltimore's offense is 31st in the league in plays of 20 or more yards.
  • The Ravens wide receivers have a league-low 1,184 receiving yards this season.
  • Last week, Devin Duvernay paced the Ravens wide receivers playing 68 of a possible 72 snaps. Demarcus Robinson was next in line seeing the field for 55 plays. No other wide receiver played more than 25 snaps. Robinson has played 95 percent of his snaps aligned on the outside rather than in the slot. Robinson led the Ravens last week with seven receptions, a mark he has hit in three of his last four games. Duvernay had a career-high six catches last week.
  • Tight end Mark Andrews is the Ravens leading receiver … by 276 yards. Andrews missed a game, but still has 654 receiving yards. No other Ravens pass catcher has more than 378. Nine Ravens have caught 10 or more passes. However, during the first six games of the season, Andrews was targeted on 29.1 percent of his routes, which led all tight ends. Since then, Andrews is getting targeted just 20.7 percent of the occasions he goes out on a route. During those first six games, Andrews averaged 6.5 receptions, 75.8 receiving yards and had five touchdowns. Since then, he averages 3.4 receptions, 39.8 receiving yard and hasn't caught a touchdown.
  • Andrews is still currently second among all tight ends in receiving yards, catches and touchdown receptions. In his last game against Pittsburgh, Andrews had eight catches for 85 yards.
  • In Andrews' four games with Huntley as the starter last year, he caught 32 passes for 363 yards with two touchdown receptions on 44 targets. Two of Andrews five 100-yard games last year were with Huntley behind center and was targeted on 29.1% of his routes with Huntley at quarterback in 2021.
  • The Steelers have blitzed on 32.2% of drop backs. Only four defenses blitz at a higher rate this year, and no offense is seeing a higher percentage of blitz than Baltimore this year.
  • TJ Watt is aiming for his seventh-straight game against the Ravens with at least half of a sack. Cameron Heyward is aiming for his fourth-straight game against Baltimore with a sack.
  • Jackson is the Ravens' leading rusher by 343 yards.
  • Between Week 11 and Week 18 last year, Huntley averaged 56 rushing yards per game. He has rushed for 50 or more yards in three of his four career starts.
  • Among the Ravens running backs, Kenyan Drake was on the field for 34 snaps last week while Gus Edwards and Justice Hill each played 17. Edwards did get the start and was the only running back to touch the ball in the first quarter against Denver. But over the course of that game, Drake played 23 of a possible 43 early down snaps. The previous week Edwards got 16 carries while the rest of Baltimore's running backs had three combined rushing attempts.
  • The Steelers' 4.1 rushing yards allowed per carry is better than all but four teams in the league.
  • Only the Patriots offense has begun their drives with better average starting field position than Baltimore.
  • Last week, Devin Bush played 87 percent of the defensive snaps. But he was only on the field in third- and fourth-down situations 55 percent of the time. Robert Spillane only played 24 percent of the total snaps, but he was used on 73 percent of the third- and fourth-down situations.
  • Even with Minkah Fitzpatrick playing every snap and Terrell Edmunds playing 93 percent, Damontae Kazee still saw the field for 43 percent of the snaps against Atlanta.
  • The Ravens run 62.8 offensive plays per game, 18th-most in the NFL. This is down drastically from last year when they ran 69.7 plays on average per game, which was far and away the most in the league.
  • Baltimore is the only team in the league to score 20 or more points in every one of their road games this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Last week's game in Atlanta tied an NFL record when the Steelers and Falcons combined to make five 45-plus-yard field goals.
  • Baltimore averages 12.4 yards per punt return compared to 6.3 by the Steelers. The Ravens are fourth-best in the league. Pittsburgh is fourth worst.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

January 18th, 2009: AFC Championship: Steelers 23, Ravens 14, Heinz Field

This was quite possibly the most violent and physical game played between these two franchises — and that is saying something. This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams in Harbaugh's first year as the Ravens head coach. Pittsburgh got out to an early 13-0 lead at home, but then two great defenses took over. About midway through the second half, Baltimore clawed its way back to make this a 16-14 game. In the end, Troy Polamalu intercepted Joe Flacco and returned it for a touchdown to seal a Pittsburgh Super Bowl appearance. Pittsburgh forced five fumbles in this game including three in the final 3:13 of play. The Steelers then went on to win Super Bowl XLIII over Arizona.

THE ADVANCED SCOUT PODCAST

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FACTS FROM NFL RESEARCH

  • Steelers have won 4 straight games vs the Ravens (swept last 2 seasons) - All 4 wins by the Steelers were by 5 points or fewer - longest win streak by either team in this matchup since the Steelers won 4 straight from Week 14, 2001 - Week 1, 2003 - Only 5-game win streak was PIT from Week 6, 1997 - Week 2, 1999
  • Mike Tomlin is 99-50-1 (.663) in his career as a head coach the rest of the season following his bye week (5th-highest such win pct by any head coach since the 1970 merger, min. 5 seasons)
  • Kenny Pickett has 0 giveaways in his last 4 games - Pickett: 1 of 4 QBs with 2+ starts that have 0 giveaways since Week 10
  • Alex Highsmith has a career-high 10.0 sacks in 2022 (T-5th in NFL) - Highsmith: 10 of PIT 23 sacks in 2022 (43.5 pct is 2nd-most in NFL) - Highsmith leads PIT in sacks, TFL (tied with 8) & QB hits (15)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick leads PIT with 4 INT in 2022 (T-4th in NFL) - Fitzpatrick: 85.4 PFF coverage grade in 2022 (Highest among safeties w/ 250+ coverage snaps; only Sauce Gardner has a higher grade among DB)

KEY MATCHUPS

  • Ravens FB Patrick Richard vs. Steelers Linebackers - Let's just say Richard is a unique player who presents unique challenges. He is a massive blocking fullback that plays a very high percentage of Baltimore's offensive snaps (25 snaps last week) as NFL fullbacks go, but rarely gets the football. Richard is a like a moveable guard in the backfield. The Steelers have seen Richard and the rare way in which Baltimore plays offense overall. For the most part, the Ravens choose to play with four offensive skill positions instead of five because of the presence of Richard.
  • Steelers RB Najee Harris vs. Ravens ILB Roquan Smith - In late October before the NFL trade deadline, Baltimore sent a second- and fifth-round draft pick to the Bears for Smith, who has been a stabilizing factor on the second level for his new squad. Smith is a fantastic athlete for the position and makes plays all over the field against both run and pass. As a coverage player in this game, Smith will most see the Steelers tight ends and running backs, but he is great awareness as a zone defender on crossing routes as well. Smith will do battle with many Steelers, but none more so than Harris, who has excelled of late as a ball carrier, as well in pass protection.
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