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Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens GameDay Preview

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Steeler Nation is a world-wide army that follows the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers. The Six-Time Super Bowl Champions are a franchise whose tradition dictates a standard of excellence, and their fans expect nothing less year in and year out. Those very same ideals translate to the ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview, a guide that all Steelers fans read weekly to learn everything they need to know about their team and weekly opponent!

Mike Drakulich, the man behind Pittsburgh SportsNation (@PghSportsNation), who covers both Pitt football and the Steelers for NGSC Sports, brings you inside the huddle for both teams providing all NFL fans with The PSN Game Commentary, Score Prediction, Broadcast Information, and a complete breakdown of each team.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) at Baltimore Ravens (13-3)

 

NFL Week 18

Vegas line: Pittsburgh -3

Game-time: Saturday, January 6th, at 4:30 PM

Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.

  • Field: GN-1 Bermuda Grass

Weather at kickoff: 40, with a 100% of rain. Winds out of the East at 14 MPH.

 

The Pittsburgh SportsNation Game Commentary

History has been replete with athletes that were given up on before turning an unexpected chance into a career resurrecting fairy tale.

Mason Rudolph has entered the ring. All but forgotten about, buried on the depth chart behind Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky, Rudolph was given a start against the Cincinnati Bengals, only because Pickett wasn’t recovered from a high ankle sprain, and Trubisky had played horribly in his three appearances in the Arizona, New England, and Indianapolis games–all resulting in devastating losses that left the Steelers at 7-7.

The team looked dead as their playoff chances, showing little or no life at all in the 30-13 beating the Colts gave them.

Since Rudolph took over, the Steelers are 2-0, scoring 32 points a game, and have a chance of getting into the playoffs with a win over the Ravens this Saturday, and either a loss by Jacksonville to Tennessee, or Buffalo to Miami.

The Steelers (9-7) will be heading to Baltimore (13-3) to face a Ravens team that has already clinched the #1 seed in the AFC, and will be resting many of their starters, including MVP candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson, wide receiver’s Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham, guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Kyle Hamilton, and corner Marlon Humphrey. Don’t expect to see much, if any carries going to starting RB Gus Edwards, or his backup in Justice Hill either. Linebacker Roquan Smith will likely see a reduced role, as well.

Tyler Huntley will get the start at quarterback, a familiar face who has faced the Steelers several times in the past. Melvin Gordon will probably get the bulk of the carries at running back. Huntley’s top options at wide receiver will be Nelson Agholor and Rashod Bateman. Tight end Isaiah Likely, who has come on strong in place of the injured Mark Andrews, could be a major target in the game unless the Ravens decide to limit his play, too.

The Steelers could be getting some major additions back on defense, as linebacker Elandon Roberts, who leads the team with 100 tackles, is expected to suit up, and safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Trenton Thompson are listed as questionable. Fitpatrick is more likely to suit up next week if the Steelers do make the playoffs, but head coach Mike Tomlin left the door open for him in this game.

“Everybody’s pros,” said Roberts. “I think those guys and our coaching staff have been doing a great job making sure everybody’s been ready to go and stuff like that. It is what it is, injuries are part of football. We are all pros and we are all prepared to go out there.”

Fitzpatrick was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week, as was T.J. Watt and special teamer Miles Killebrew.

The weather will be a factor Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, as temps are expected to be in the high 30’s, with a 100% chance of snow and rain.

Such conditions would seem to favor a resurgent Steelers rushing attack behind Najee Harris and Jaylon Warren, with Harris being just 77 yards away from a 1,000 yard season.

“We all know that they know we are gonna run it,” Harris said in regards to Baltimore. “We all know coming into the week that they might be heavy in the box. Especially coming off this last performance, ‘They are gonna be heavy run again,’ and we have to capitalize off all that.”

In their last eight games, the Steelers are averaging 144.1 yards a game on the ground.

“We are doing our thing. We are trusting each other and playing ball,” Warren said.

That run game has also opened up the passing lanes for Rudolph, who has taken advantage of those opportunities to find George Pickens and others with several deep shots the last two games.

“Those two guys are selfless, and they just want to win,” said interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner. “They come into work every day, and they play so well off each other because I think they’re a lot different. Najee is a big body, big bruiser kind. And Jaylen gets in there, he’s kind of the same type of guy, but his stature allows him to hide behind things sometimes, and it plays to his advantage.

“They play well off of each other because they’re both good football players, and we try to keep on playing into their skill set.”

With the weather, and with who is missing, expect the Ravens to be run heavy against the Steelers. The Ravens are 1st in the league averaging 159.7 yards a game rushing, amassing a total of 2,555 yards in their 16 games so far.

It will be up to the Steelers defense to be at the top of their game when it comes to making tackles, and getting to Huntley if he does drop back to pass. T.J. Watt has a good shot of getting to Huntley and ending the season as the NFL leader in sacks for the third time.

When the Steelers and Ravens meet, it’s always a nasty physical affair, no matter who is playing or sitting out.

With the offense playing much better under Rudolph, and the motivation of getting into the playoffs at stake, the Steelers will take care of business Saturday evening against a depleted Ravens roster. With the weather, Rudolph might not have a huge game statistically, but he’ll find Pickens and Diontae Johnson enough to keep the Baltimore defense on their heels. Expect Harris and Warren to have a big day on the ground, with Harris going over the 1,000 yard mark.

Steelers win and then watch the television like the rest of Steeler Nation on Sunday, hoping for a miracle out of either Tennessee or Miami. It’s Serbian Christmas on Sunday. Maybe Santa will bring a big gift to Western Pennsylvania before the night ends.

Prediction: Steelers 24 Ravens 14

 

 

Broadcast Information

 

TV: ESPN and ABC (ESPN channel 850 | Local: WTAE-TV channel 804 on Xfinity)

  • Announcers: Chris Fowler (play-by-play) Louis Riddick & Dan Orlovsky (analysts) | Laura Rutledge (field reporter)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM & 970 WBGG-AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Craig Wolfley (analyst) | Max Starks (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

National Radio: Westwood One Sports

  • Announcers: Mike Watts (play-by-play) Devin McCourty (analyst)

Internet broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

NFL Links

 

Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Overall record: 9-7 (3rd in AFC North)

Last Game: Steelers 30 Seahawks 23

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

  • 17th Season with Steelers
  • Overall regular-season record: 172-100-2
  • Playoff record: 8-9 (Qualified for playoffs 10 times)

Team Links

 

Steelers Offense

 

Offensive Stats

  • Points per game: 17.9 (27th)
  • Total yards per game: 320.3 (25th)
  • Passing yards per game: 204.3 (29th)
  • Rushing yards per game: 115.9 (12th)

 

QUARTERBACK

Mason Rudolph | #2

Rudolph has been nothing short of amazing in his two starts, throwing for 567 yards, two touchdowns, and having the offense averaging 32 points a game. Now Rudolph will have to work his magic once more to give the Steelers a chance to make the playoffs with a win and a Bills or Jaguars loss.

Passing Yards: 567 | TD Passes: 2 | INT’s: 0 | Sacked: 3

Rushing Yards: 9 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Back-up: Kenny Pickett | #8

Passing Yards: 2,070 | TD Passes: 6 | INT’s: 4 | Sacked: 23

Rushing Yards: 54 | Rushing TD’s: 1

 

RUNNING BACKS

Najee Harris | #22

Harris and Warren have formed a solid one-two punch in the Steelers rushing attack. Harris has been a man on a mission in the 2nd half of the season. Harris is 3rd in the NFL with rushes of 20 yards or more, and is just 77 yards from a 1,000 yard season.

Rushing Yards: 923 | Rushing TD’s: 7

Receptions: 24 | Receiving Yards: 149 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Jaylen Warren | #30

Warren always finds a way to hit the hole and get positive yardage, and has become a major weapon both running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. 

Rushing Yards: 751 | Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 56 | Receiving Yards: 353 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Diontae Johnson | #18

Johnson missed four games earlier this season and is well below his normal yearly numbers, but is still a dangerous threat every time he touches the ball. Prone to goofy mistakes like running backwards after catches and very untimely fumbles at times.

Receptions: 47 | Receiving Yards: 628 | Receiving TD’s: 4

 

George Pickens | #14

Pickens leads the team with 63 receptions for 1,140 yards, and five touchdowns. After a few games where his heart was challenged, Pickens has been an absolute beast the past two games, with 11 receptions for 326 yards and two touchdowns.

Receptions: 63 | Receiving Yards: 1,140 | Receiving TD’s: 5

 

Allen Robinson II | #11

Robinson has picked up his play of late, and is a reliable option when thrown to.

Receptions: 34 | Receiving Yards: 280 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Calvin Austin III | #19

The shifty receiver could be utilized in a variety of ways in a competent offense, and those dreams have been realized of late with Austin seeing an uptick in running the ball, one carry resulting in a touchdown.

Receptions: 17 | Receiving Yards: 180 | Receiving TD’s: 1

Rushing Yards: 49 | Rushing TD’s: 1

 

Miles Boykin | #13

Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 17 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

TIGHT ENDS

Pat Freiermuth | #88

Has been up and down all season in getting the ball thrown his way. Needs to be an integral part of the passing game, especially across the middle and in the red zone.

Receptions: 30 | Receiving Yards: 287 | Receiving TD’s: 2

 

Conner Heyward | #83

Heyward makes the most of his opportunities when thrown to.

Receptions: 21 | Receiving Yards: 163 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Darnell Washington | #80

Has great size and could be a major asset in short yardage situations, especially in the red zone. Washington has become a devastating blocker in the run game.

Receptions: 7 | Receiving Yards: 61 | Receiving TD’s: 0

*Injured/Out

 

Steelers Defense (Base 3-4)

 

Defensive Stats

  • Points per game allowed: 19.6 (7th)
  • Total offense yards per game allowed: 349.5 (22nd)
  • Passing yards allowed: 233.8 (22nd)
  • Rushing yards allowed: 115.6 (18th)
  • Sacks: 43 (12th)
  • Interceptions: 16 (5th)

 

DEFENSIVE LINE

DT: Cam Heyward | #97

Tackles: 31 | Sacks: 2

NT: Keeanu Benton | #95

Tackles: 33 | Sacks: 1

DE: Larry Ogunjobi | #99

Tackles: 42 | Sacks: 3

 

LINEBACKERS

OLB: T.J. Watt | #90

Tackles: 60 | Sacks: 17 | INT: 1 | TD: 1

ILB: Elandon Roberts | #50

Tackles: 100 | Sacks: 2.5 | INT: 1

ILB: Myles Jack | #16

Tackles: 14 | Sacks: 1

OLB: Alex Highsmith | #56

Tackles: 54 | Sacks: 7 | INT: 1 | TD: 1

 

SECONDARY

CB: Joey Porter, Jr. | #24             

Tackles: 42 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1

FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick | #39

Tackles: 64| Sacks: 0 | INT: 0

SS: Miles Killebrew | #28

Tackles: 9 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 0

CB: Patrick Peterson | #20 

Tackles: 41 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 2

 

Steelers Special Teams

 

PLACEKICKER

Chris Boswell | #9 

Extra Points: 25-26

Field Goals: 28-30

  • 1-19 yards: 0-0
  • 20-29 yards: 8-8
  • 30-39 yards: 7-7
  • 40-49 yards: 7-8
  • 50+ yards: 6-7

 

KICKOFF RETURNER

Godwin Igwebuike | #48

Average: 25.6 | TD Returns: 0

 

PUNT RETURNER

Calvin Austin III | #19

Average: 6.5 | TD Returns: 0

 

Scouting the Baltimore Ravens

 

Overall record: 13-3 (1st in AFC North)

Last game: Ravens 56 Dolphins 19

Head Coach: John Harbaugh

  • 16th Season with Baltimore 
  • Overall regular-season record: 160-98 | 160-98 with Baltimore
  • Playoff Record: 11-9

Team Links

Baltimore Roster

 

Baltimore Offense

 

Offensive Stats

  • Points per game: 29.6 (2nd)
  • Total Offense per game: 393.1 (4th)
  • Passing yards per game: 233.4 (21st)
  • Rushing yards per game: 159.7 (1st)

 

QUARTERBACK

Lamar Jackson* | #8

Having an MVP season, but will sit this week with the Ravens clinching the #1 seed in the AFC.

Passing Yards: 3,678 | TD Passes: 24 | INT’s: 7 | Sacked: 37

Rushing Yards: 821 | Rushing TD’s: 5

 

Back-up: Tyler Huntley | #2

Huntley will be the starter this week, and has played well in the past against the Steelers.

Passing Yards: 57 | TD Passes: 2 | INT’s: 0 | Sacked: 0

Rushing Yards: 15 | Rushing TD’s: 0

 

RUNNING BACKS

Gus Edwards | #35

Edwards may not be headed for the 1,000 yard season, but he’s found the endzone 13 times. probably not going to see much if any time at all this week.

Rushing Yards: 762 | Rushing TD’s: 13

Receptions: 12 | Receiving Yards: 180 | TD’s: 0

 

Justice Hill | #43

Hill has reemerged into the Ravens RB rotation with the season ending injury to Keaton Mitchell.

Rushing Yards: 387 | Rushing TD’s: 3

Receptions: 25 | Receiving Yards: 180 | Receiving TD’s: 1

 

Melvin Gordon III | #33

Gordon will more than likely be the starter this week as the Ravens will surely rest Edwards and Hill heading into the playoffs.

Rushing Yards: 63 | Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 3 | Receiving Yards: 46 | Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Patrick Ricard | #42

Rushing Yards: 0 | Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 5 | Receiving Yards: 52 | Receiving TD’s: 1

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Zay Flowers* | #4

Flowers has established himself as a top threat in his rookie season and is 2nd on the team with five touchdown receptions. Listed as doubtful and will not play.

Receptions: 77 | Receiving Yards: 858 | Receiving TD’s: 5

Rushing Yards: 56 | Rushing TD’s: 1

 

Odell Beckham, Jr.* | #3

Beckham is averaging 16.1 yards per catch and seems to always make a big play when called upon. Ravens will rest him this week.

Receptions: 35 | Receiving Yards: 565 | Receiving TD’s: 3

 

Rashod Bateman | #7

Bateman will see an uptick in play with Flowers and Beckham out this week.

Receptions: 32 | Receiving Yards: 367 | Receiving TD’s: 1

 

Nelson Agholor | #15

Agholor will get the start with Beckham and Flowers out, and has played well when called upon. 5th on the team in receptions and tied for third with four touchdown catches.

Receptions: 30 | Receiving Yards: 342 | Receiving TD’s: 4

 

Tylan Wallace | #16

Receptions: 0 | Receiving Yards: 0 | Receiving TD’s: 0 

 

TIGHT ENDS

Isaiah Likely | #80

Likely has stepped into the limelight with the injury to Mark Andrews, and has been a big part of the Ravens passing game the last five games, where he has collected 26 receptions and four touchdowns.

Receptions: 28 | Receiving Yards: 380 | Receiving TD’s: 4  

 

Charlie Kolar | #88

Receptions: 4 | Receiving Yards: 64 | Receiving TD’s: 1 

*Injured/out

 

Baltimore Defense (Base 3-4) 

 

Defensive Stats

  • Points per game allowed: 16.45 (1st)
  • Total offense yards per game allowed: 302.1 (4th)
  • Passing yards allowed: 195.6 (6th)
  • Rushing yards allowed: 106.6 (13th)
  • Sacks: 55 (1st)
  • Interceptions: 18 (3rd)

 

DEFENSIVE LINE 

DE: Justin Madubuike | #92

Tackles: 54 | Sacks: 13

DT: Michael Pierce | #58

Tackles: 36 | Sacks: 1

DE: Broderick Washington | #96

Tackles: 15 | Sacks: 2

 

LINEBACKERS

OLB: Odafe Oweh | #99

Tackles: 23 | Sacks: 5 | INT: 0

MLB: Roquan Smith | #0

Tackles: 158 | Sacks: 1.5 | INT: 1

MLB: Patrick Queen | #6

Tackles: 125 | Sacks: 3.5 | INT: 1

OLB: Jadeveon Clowney | #24

Tackles: 38 | Sacks: 8.5 | INT: 0

 

SECONDARY

CB: Brandon Stephens | #21

Tackles: 68 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 2

SS: Kyle Hamilton | #14

Tackles: 81 | Sacks: 3 | INT: 4

FS: Marcus Williams | #32

Tackles: 46 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1

CB: Marlon Humphrey* | #44

Tackles: 26 | Sacks: 0 | INT: 1

*Injured/out

 

Baltimore Special Teams

 

PLACEKICKER

Justin Tucker | #9

Extra Points: 50-51

Field Goals: 31-36

  • 1-19 yards: 0-0
  • 20-29 yards: 10-10
  • 30-39 yards: 9-9
  • 40-49 yards: 11-12
  • 50+ yards: 1-5

 

KICKOFF RETURNER

Justice Hill | #43

Average: 39.7 | TD Returns: 0

 

PUNT RETURNER

Tylan Wallace | #16

Average: 21.2 | TD Returns: 1

 

 

Steelers vs Ravens History

 

Series History: Began in 1996

Overall Record: 34-25

  • Home: 20-12
  • Away: 14-13
  • Postseason: 3-1

Streak: Steelers won the last two games.

Last regular-season meeting: Steelers Win, 17-10 (Oct. 8, 2023)

Last postseason meeting: Ravens Win, 30-17 (Jan. 3, 2015)

 

Injury Report (1/4/23)

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

IR: S Keanu Neal,

Out: None

Doubtful: None

Questionable: S Trenton Thompson (Neck), S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Knee), LB Elandon Roberts (Pectoral)

 

Baltimore Ravens

IR: 

Out: LB Malik Harrison (Groin), CB Marlon Humphrey (Calf), CB Arthur Maulet (Hip), DB Brandon Stephens (Ankle), DB Daryl Worley (Shoulder/Ankle), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (NIR – Resting), QB Lamar Jackson (NIR – Resting)

Doubtful: WR Zay Flowers (Calf)

Questionable: S Kyle Hamilton (Knee), G Kevin Zeitler (Knee/Quad), CB Ronald Darby (Illness), WR Tylan Wallace (Knee), S Ar’Darius Washington (Pectoral)

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About Post Author

Mike Drakulich

From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team. There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all! As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football. For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
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Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
author

Mike Drakulich

From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team. There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all! As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football. For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!

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