Game Scout: Steelers at Ravens

Derek Harper

November 27, 2013 at 8:52 am.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-6)

Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET, at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore – TV: NBC

*TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

*Keys to the game: Steelers rookie RB Le’Veon Bell had his most productive game as he rushed for 93 yards in the Oct. 20 meeting, a 19-16 Pittsburgh win. A downhill runner, Bell wears a target from the Ravens on Thursday – defenders vow to prevent the type of big gains he hit Baltimore for last month. That should set up QB Ben Roethlisberger, who has seven touchdown passes against one interception over his past 109 pass attempts, to work off play-action. The Ravens are wary of interceptions of weary of pass blocking problems in recent weeks. QB Joe Flacco has been sacked 17 times in the past four games. The Steelers will crash the pocket from inside and outside gaps hoping to diminish the threat of Flacco’s strong throwing arm. RB Ray Rice breaking a long run isn’t a concern — even against the NFL’s 23rd-ranked run defense – with just one carry of over 14 yards and a 2.9-yard average this season.

*Matchup to watch – Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Roethlisberger: With 16.5 career sacks of Big Ben, Suggs thrives in this rivalry game. He has gone three games without a sack, but his next one gives him 10 in a season for the fifth time in his career.

*Player spotlight – Ravens WR Torrey Smith: The big-play option for Flacco, Smith has been a big no-show in this matchup of late with seven catches for 101 yards over the past three meetings.

*Fast facts – The Ravens are 2-4 in games decided by three points or less this season. … Antonio Brown (NFL-high 80 catches) is on pace to become the first Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver to lead the NFL in receptions.


The Steelers fail in their bid to win on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1950, and the Ravens beat QB Ben Roethlisberger for just the fifth time in 15 all-time meetings.

*Our pick: Ravens 16-15