How to Watch/Listen
- TV coverage: Broadcast locally in Pittsburgh on CBS (KDKA-TV)
- 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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The Steelers continued their preparation on Thursday for this week's regular season finale, an AFC North matchup against the Baltimore Ravens that is a must win to keep the team's playoff hopes alive.
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Earlier this year, the Steelers beat Baltimore in Pittsburgh 20-19. That brings this series to 31-24 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 post season battles. Pittsburgh won three of the playoff games. The Steelers swept Baltimore last year and have won seven of the last 10, but before that timeframe, 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. Pittsburgh currently has a three-game winning streak against the Ravens. Mike Tomlin is 17-15 against Baltimore and John Harbaugh is 14-16 against the Steelers.
Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field
The Season so far
- After a one-point loss last week against the Rams, Baltimore has now lost five in a row to fall to 8-8 for the season. The Ravens have been outscored by two points for the season. During this five-game losing streak, Baltimore was beaten by the Bengals by 20 points, but their other four losses have been by two points or less.
- The Ravens have won five of their eight home games in 2021. Pittsburgh is 2-5 away from Heinz Field in 2021.
- Baltimore's offense averages 5.4 yards per play, which ranks 18th. The Steelers average 4.9 yards per offensive play. Pittsburgh's defense surrenders 5.5 yards per play while the Ravens give up 6.1 yards every time the ball is snapped. Baltimore's defense ranks last in the NFL and is the only defense in the league over 5.9 yards allowed per play. Last week, Baltimore allowed 6.7 yards per play to the Rams.
- In Week 13 Pittsburgh produced 321 yards of offense compared to 326 by the Ravens. Baltimore averaged 4.7 yards per play, but the Steelers produced 5.6 yards every time they snapped the ball in that game. But it was still the Ravens that dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 36:30. The Steelers were penalized five times compared to the 10 penalties by Baltimore, but Pittsburgh's 81 yards in penalties was 26 yards more than the Ravens.
- Baltimore's offense has produced 145 first downs by rushing football and their defense has allowed just 76 first downs on the ground. The Ravens average 4.6 yards per rushing attempt while their defense allows just 3.9 per their opponents' rushing attempts.
- After Tyler Huntley was sacked five times in Week 17, the Ravens now have a sack differential of -21. The Steelers average 3.3 sacks per game which leads the NFL by a wide margin. No other defense is over three. Meanwhile, the Ravens give up 3.4 sacks per game, which is the worst in the NFL. Baltimore's 2.9 sacks per game ranks 19th. The Steelers give up 2.3 sacks per contest.
- After losing the time of possession battle in six straight games, the Steelers held the football for 34:55 on Monday night. For the season, only the Packers and Titans hold the football longer than Baltimore on a per game basis. The Steelers have now moved up to 24th in the league. Still, the Ravens run 9.7 more plays per game than their opponents, which is by far the most in the league. Over the last four games, Steelers game are producing 135.5 combined plays, which is the third most during that stretch.
- Over the last four weeks, Baltimore games are yielding the fifth most total points.
- The Steelers are even in turnover differential this year while Baltimore is at -9. Pittsburgh has 18 takeaways compared to just 14 by the Ravens. Pittsburgh has only turned the ball over 19 times. Only eight offenses are better and only six offenses have thrown fewer interceptions. Baltimore has thrown 16 interceptions. Only five teams have thrown more. The Steelers defense has caused a league-high 19 fumbles, but they have only recovered nine of those 19. Neither team has a player with more than three interceptions.
- Here is how many yards per route run that the prominent wide receivers in this game are producing this season: Chase Claypool 1.79, Marquise Brown 1.67, Rashod Bateman 1.33, and Ray Ray McCloud .78.
- Last week, the Ravens rookie class played 184 snaps. Pittsburgh's rookies played 282 snaps on Monday night.
When Pittsburgh has the Ball
- Baltimore's opponents are only calling a running play 36.3% of the time. Just three defenses see a lesser run percentage. The Steelers throw the ball on 63.3% of their snaps. Just two offenses throw the ball with more regularity. Over the last month, Pittsburgh's 67% situationally neutral pass rate is the highest in the league. The Cardinals are the only team huddling less often than the Steelers over those last four games.
- The Ravens opponents average 59.9 offensive snaps per game, which is the fewest in the NFL. Pittsburgh's offense is running 64.9 plays per game, which is the ninth most in the league.
- When these teams met earlier this year, Pittsburgh averaged just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt. Najee Harris ended the day with 71 yards on the ground on 21 rushing attempts. But Harris did produce 107 yards from scrimmage. Harris now leads the NFL in touches. He also leads all running backs in number of routes run and snaps played in 2021. His 1,612 yards from scrimmage leads all rookies regardless of position. The Rams only rushed for 73 yards last week in Baltimore.
- Baltimore allows 8.2 yards per pass attempt and 12.9 yards per catch. Both are the highest in the NFL.
- Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once in these teams previous meeting. 14 different Ravens defenders have recorded a sack this year, but no one on their defense has more than six.
- The Ravens give up 9.2 yards per target to opposing wide receivers. That is the biggest number in the league.
- Pat Freiermuth has caught six touchdowns over his last nine games. Tight ends have caught eight touchdowns against Baltimore this year, which is 25th in the league. They have also given up 95 catches for 1,032 yards against tight ends which is the third and fifth most respectively in the NFL. Freiermuth has exceeded 44 yards in a game just once during his rookie year though.
When Baltimore has the Ball
- Compared to last season, when the Ravens threw the ball just 45% of the time-32nd in the league, Baltimore is now throwing the football much more in 2021. In fact, the Ravens now throw the ball 56.8% of the time, which is 21st most in the NFL.
- Baltimore averages 69.6 plays run per game, which is the most in the NFL. Steelers opponents are running 65.3 plays per game which is the sixth most.
- In terms of personnel usage, the Ravens love having two running backs on the field. They use 20 Personnel (2 RB/0 TE) 8% of the time when league average is 1%. They use 22 Personnel (2 RB/2 TE) on 15% of their snaps when league average is 3%. The Ravens run the ball 73% of the time when they use 22 Personnel. As you would expect, Baltimore is also a big 21 Personnel (2 RB/1 TE) team, using that grouping 24% of the time. League average for 21 Personnel usage is just 7%. The Ravens average 6.9 yards per carry out of 12 Personnel (1 RB/2 TE), but only use that grouping 8% of the time while league average is 21%.
- Lamar Jackson averages 304.1 passing yards per game compared to 193.7 for Tyler Huntley. Huntley threw for 197 yards last week on 32 attempts and completed just five of his 11 attempts beyond 10 yards downfield.
- For the season, Jackson's yards per attempt is 7.5 yards downfield. Huntley's is just 6.2. With Jackson at quarterback, the Ravens used some form of play action on 35% of their snaps, but with Huntley, that dropped to just 14%. Jackson's average depth of target is 10 yards downfield while Huntley's is 7.8.
- Huntley has started four games this year. He has rushed for at least 40 yards in all four games. The Steelers give up 20.1 rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. That is 24th in the league.
- When these teams met in Week 13, the Steelers blitzed Jackson on 16 dropbacks. Jackson completed just four passes against the blitz in that game. The Steelers sacked Jackson seven times in these teams first meeting. TJ Watt got to Jackson three and a half times and Chris Wormley also recorded two and a half sacks against his former team.
- Despite only playing 12 games this year, Jackson is still Baltimore's leading yard producer on the ground with 767 rushing yards. After his 76 rushing yards last week, Devonta Freeman is up to 555 and Latavius Murray is the Ravens third leading rusher with 351 yards on the ground for the season. Jackson has half of Baltimore's 10 rushing touchdowns. Jackson ran the ball eight times in Pittsburgh for 55 yards, but the Ravens finished the game with only 107 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
- Freeman went four straight games with at least 49 rushing yards then combined for just 39 yards on the ground before racking up 76 rushing yards last week. That was his second game of the year with 75+ rushing yards. Freeman also ran 25 routes compared to just three by Latavius Murray in Week 17. Freeman has been below 60% of Baltimore's backfield touches in three straight games since accounting for 72.9% of the backfield touches over the previous four weeks. Freeman's most productive game of the year came against Pittsburgh though when he produced 97 yards from scrimmage. Last week in a game in which the Ravens never trailed by four or more points, Baltimore ran the ball on 44% of their snaps.
- Baltimore had six different pass catchers with multiple receptions, all of whom produced over 20 receiving yards against the Steelers. But the Ravens didn't have someone produce more than 55 receiving yards in that game earlier this year.
- Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown each have been targeted 138 times this year and have combined to catch 187 passes. That is 49% of Baltimore's targets and receptions for the year. Andrews has 295 more receiving yards than Brown, but their combined 2,257 receiving yards makes up 55% of the entire team's receiving yardage. Andrews and Brown account for 15 of the Ravens 21 receiving touchdowns.
- After reaching at least eight catches, 10 targets, 115 yards and a touchdown in three straight games, Andrews finished last week's game with six receptions on six targets for 89 yards. Still, Andrews has racked up an amazing 35 catches for 465 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his last four games. Andrews is just 143 yards shy of setting the record for most receiving yardage in a season by a tight end. Before this season, Andrews highest percentage of routes run per dropback was 71% in 2020. This year, Andrews has run a route on 84% of the Ravens dropbacks. Andrews averages 2.18 yards per route run. George Kittle and Dallas Goedert are the only tight ends producing more yardage every time they go out on a pass route.
- Last week, Rashod Bateman led all Baltimore's wide receivers in snaps played (59) and routes run (34). Bateman's 10 targets also led the Ravens. This was the third straight game that Bateman played over 80% of the snaps. For the season, Bateman has run a route on just 53% of the Ravens passing plays, but over the past three weeks that percentage has been 96%, 91%, and 95% last week.
- The Steelers now have five straight seasons with at least 50 sacks. That ties a league record. Not only do they lead the league in sacks, but Pittsburgh is second in tackles for loss.
- Chris Boswell and Justin Tucker have attempted a combined 72 field goals this year. They've missed just six. Boswell has only missed one attempt inside of 40 yards, is 10 of 12 between 40 and 50 yards and has made eight of nine over 50 yards. Meanwhile, Tucker hasn't missed inside of 40 yards. Tucker has only missed two kicks outside of 40 yards and hasn't missed any of his six attempts longer than 50 yards. Boswell and Tucker have missed a total of two extra points on 59 attempts in 2021.
The Advanced Scout Podcast
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Matt's Most Memorable Moment: January 18, 2009: AFC Championship: Steelers 23, Ravens 14, Heinz Field
This was a battle and quite possibly the most violent and physical game ever played between these two franchises, and that is saying something. This was the second ever playoff meeting between these two teams in John 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 their 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 defeat Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.
Facts from NFL Research
- T.J. Watt has 21.5 sacks entering Week 18 after a career-high 4.0 sack Week 17 vs. Cleveland.
- He needs 1.5 sacks to break HOF Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record of 22.5, set in 2001.
- Cameron Heyward (7, 2nd) and T.J. Watt (5, T-3rd) are two of seven players with 5+ batted passes this season.
- Ben Roethlisberger's 164 QB wins with the Steelers are 2nd-most by any QB with a single team in NFL history.
- Roethlisberger is 16-9 against the Ravens in his career, with 6,399 pass yards and 42 passing touchdowns.
- The most wins, yards and touchdowns by any QB vs. Ravens all-time
- Ravens TE Mark Andrews vs. Steelers SAF Terrell Edmunds-Andrews is having a historic season and is clearly the featured receiver in Baltimore's passing attack. He is a great route runner and ultra-reliable, but also brings some big play ability to the table. When the Steelers play man coverage, Edmunds often draws the responsibility of matching up against the opponent's tight end. That matchup could go a long way in determining how much success the Ravens passing game has in Week 18.
- Steelers RB Najee Harris vs. Ravens LB Patrick Queen-After an uneven rookie year, Queen has come on in a big way in 2021. He is a superb athlete that thrives playing in space and has tremendous speed. It will be a collective effort to slow down Harris as a runner, but Queen should often draw the responsibility of matching up with Pittsburgh rookie running back in the passing game. These two first round picks should do battle for years to come.