|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-1||2-1||31.0||14.7||292.3||(4.9)||1.0||26.0||16.0||377.3||(5.4)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||28.2||13.4||20.0||26:46||24-105||(4.3)||21-35||60.1%||249||(7.2)||59-354||(6)||(12.5)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.2||11.4||19.4||30:52||27-114||(4.2)||21-34||62.1%||235||(6.9)||61-350||(5.7)||(14.4)|
|Offense Road Games||17.5||9.2||15.5||26:11||23-109||(4.6)||18-34||52.2%||161||(4.7)||57-270||(4.7)||(15.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.8||11.7||23.4||33:14||33-132||(4)||23-37||61.6%||258||(6.9)||71-390||(5.5)||(17.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.1||10.3||20.5||30:25||27-110||(4)||23-37||61.0%||247||(6.6)||65-357||(5.5)||(16.2)|
|Defense Road Games||22.0||12.0||22.2||33:49||39-160||(4.1)||19-31||62.9%||223||(7.2)||70-383||(5.5)||(17.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||0.2||1.0||1.0||12-4||36.1%||1-0||37.5%||4-106||(29.7)||2-14||(7.8)||8-69|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.7||1.6||1.9||13-5||36.9%||1-0||47.7%||3-71||(23.8)||24-2||(11.1)||6-55|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.0||0.5||1.5||1.0||13-4||29.6%||1-0||25.0%||4-108||(27.1)||2-13||(7.4)||6-54|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.1||0.9||2.0|| ||15-6||40.9%||1-1||50.0%||2-56||(23)||3-22||(7.4)||7-65|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||14-5||37.8%||1-0||55.7%||3-68||(23.4)||26-2||(10.6)||6-55|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.5||1.0||2.5|| ||15-6||44.1%||0-0||50.0%||2-55||(22.2)||4-26||(6.2)||6-52|
|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3.3||2-1||0-3||22.3||13.3||317.7||(5.1)||1.0||15.0||10.0||242.3||(4.5)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||23.0||12.7||20.9||34:20||27-105||(3.8)||24-37||65.2%||249||(6.8)||64-354||(5.5)||(15.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||26.3||12.5||20.4||31:37||28-118||(4.3)||22-34||63.3%||242||(7.1)||62-360||(5.8)||(13.7)|
|Offense Home Games||21.5||13.2||20.5||33:44||29-109||(3.8)||21-33||63.9%||210||(6.3)||62-319||(5.2)||(14.9)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.7||10.1||16.9||25:46||24-95||(4)||17-30||54.4%||171||(5.6)||54-266||(4.9)||(13.5)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.5||10.1||20.1||30:55||27-116||(4.3)||22-36||61.6%||241||(6.7)||63-356||(5.7)||(15.8)|
|Defense Home Games||12.2||6.5||16.5||26:29||25-99||(3.9)||14-29||48.3%||153||(5.2)||55-252||(4.6)||(20.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.4||0.6||1.0||0.0||15-7||49.6%||1-1||50.0%||3-71||(27.8)||3-23||(9)||6-67|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.6||1.8||13-5||39.9%||1-0||51.6%||3-69||(25.1)||23-2||(9.8)||6-52|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.0||0.2||0.2||0.7||14-6||42.9%||1-0||25.0%||2-44||(22)||2-15||(6.6)||6-63|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.6||0.4||1.0|| ||12-5||38.3%||1-1||85.7%||4-92||(25.9)||2-12||(7.9)||5-45|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.9||2|| ||13-5||37.2%||1-1||64.9%||3-74||(23.5)||21-2||(9.5)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||0.2||0.7||1.0|| ||12-3||27.7%||1-1||83.3%||4-94||(23.5)||2-17||(7.8)||6-57|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BALTIMORE 19.3, PITTSBURGH 17.8|
|10/7/2012||@ KANSAS CITY||9-6||W||-6||L||46||U||24-133||13-27-165||2||50-214||12-18-124||4|
|11/18/2012||@ PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/25/2012||@ SAN DIEGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/2/2012||PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||@ WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||DENVER|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/4/2012||@ NY GIANTS||24-20||W||3||W||48.5||U||35-158||21-30-191||2||22-68||10-24-114||1|
|11/18/2012||BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/25/2012||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/2/2012||@ BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||SAN DIEGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BALTIMORE: The Ravens have slowly and successfully transitioned to a zone-blocking scheme over the past couple of seasons. They've steadily mixed in more and more zone stretch plays for Ray Rice and have had plenty of success doing it, especially now that their line heavily utilizes cut blocking. They still use a lot of two-back sets with Rice running behind Vonta Leach. Rice will take a very heavy load again; even with Ricky Williams on the roster last season, Rice played more than 75 percent of their offensive snaps, so expect rookie Bernard Pierce to be used sparingly. Baltimore keeps it very conservative in the red zone, running it more than half the time inside the 20, and nearly 60 percent of the time in goal-to-go situations last year. Rice takes pretty much all the red zone reps. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had always wanted to stretch the field but never had the receiver to do it until Torrey Smith emerged last season. Cameron has said he'll use more two tight end sets, as they did toward the end of last season. Dennis Pitta outperformed Ed Dickson in the second half of the year and is the one receiver Joe Flacco consistently looked for over the middle. Rice will also continue to have a huge role in the passing game, not only as a safety valve, but also on screens and in the slot to create mismatches. Anquan Boldin was a popular target in the end zone last year. The off-season Achilles' injury to reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs could be enough to keep this from being an elite defense. Baltimore does have experience in veterans Ed Reed and Ray Lewis'neither of whom shows any significant signs of slowing down'and Haloti Ngata is one of the best interior linemen in the league. Cornerback Lardarius Webb capped his first year as a starter with three interceptions in the playoffs, and Bernard Pollard had 89 total tackles (62 solo) in 15 games (including playoffs) as a full-time player. |
|PITTSBURGH: Much was made about former coordinator Bruce Arians' aversion to the running game, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley (who was the head coach of the run-heavy Chiefs) seems to have been brought in to correct that. The Steelers have a big, man-blocking line and Haley prefers the committee approach. With Rashard Mendenhall recovering from a torn ACL, Isaac Redman will get a heavy workload early in the season. Jonathan Dwyer figures to take a chunk of the early down reps. Redman can handle third down duties, though Baron Batch could push him for that role. Batch might have held that role a year ago had he not torn his ACL. Haley used to oversee the Cardinals' offense, so he's not lost in the passing game. Expect a lot of three-receiver sets and spread principles, with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown on the outside and Emmanuel Sanders in the slot. Ben Roethlisberger's trademark is improvising and stretching out plays. Wallace might more often be the primary target, but Brown has shown more of an ability to shake open once the play breaks down. Sanders will be the primary target in the middle of the field. Tight end Heath Miller often stays in to protect. When the Steelers throw near the goal line, it's often play-action to someone in the middle of the field (Miller or the slot receiver, possibly Sanders now). Wallace's and Brown's roles are usually minimized once the Steelers drive deep into opponent territory, unless Roethlisberger is buying time on a broken play. The Steelers were tied for ninth in the league in sacks despite a rash of injuries to their linebackers. Although they forced an NFL-low 15 turnovers in 2011, Pittsburgh still led the league in scoring defense and yardage defense'the schedule is kind enough to allow for a repeat of these numbers. Lawrence Timmons' numbers were down last year because of a move to outside linebacker for about a third of the season. He'll play inside full time in 2012, and his numbers could revert closer to where they were in 2010. Troy Polamalu, meanwhile, looked a half-step slow by the end of last season due to all the nagging injuries he's been dealing with. He appears to finally be on the decline. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (BALTIMORE-PITTSBURGH) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Ravens-Steelers Preview* =========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to take control of the AFC North on Sunday night at Heinz Field, they must do something they haven't accomplished since Ben Roethlisberger joined the NFL: beat the Baltimore Ravens without him.
That might be far from the only team Pittsburgh has to defeat without Roethlisberger in order to win the division.
The Steelers' four-game win streak has brought them within a game of the North-leading Ravens. It will be Byron Leftwich trying to move them into a first-place tie because Roethlisberger has been ruled out. Pittsburgh is 0-4 against the Ravens without him since the star quarterback's 2004 rookie season.
However, the Steelers are 4-0 at home this year after a 16-13 overtime win over Kansas City on Monday, when Roethlisberger suffered a sprained shoulder after taking a hit in the third quarter. He underwent extensive testing Tuesday, and the following day it was revealed Roethlisberger also has a dislocated rib that is a bigger concern going forward because it could cut into his aorta.
"I can move (the arm) around, that's not the issue," he said. "Sometimes when I do move it the rib will kind of pop out of place again, which is pretty painful. I just try to keep it as still as I can for the most part."
There is no timetable for his return, but Roethlisberger doesn't believe the injuries will end his season even though he said Wednesday the pain level is "nine on a scale of 1-10."
That leaves Pittsburgh relying on a quarterback who hasn't made a start since 2009 with Tampa Bay and hasn't won one since Oct. 6, 2006, while with Jacksonville. Leftwich has since gone 0-6 as a starter.
"I try to prepare as if I am the starter every week," Leftwich said. "Nothing will change. I wish Ben the best. I hope he is healthy. Other than that I will be ready to go."
Leftwich came on in relief last week for his first regular-season action in nearly two years, going 7 of 14 for 73 yards. He led the Steelers on a touchdown drive, but they needed an interception in overtime to set up Shaun Suisham's game-winning field goal.
Leftwich admitted to experiencing some rust.
"I'll trust his assessment if that's his assessment," coach Mike Tomlin said. "But I'm not overly concerned about it. We got a lot of ball in front of us this week. If he is the guy, he'll get a great opportunity to prepare and we'll expect him to play winning football."
The Ravens (7-2), meanwhile, are coming off their easiest win of the season. Baltimore set a club record for points in a 55-20 home win over Oakland last week.
It was a welcome departure for a Baltimore team which had been making a living with close wins. The Ravens' previous five victories were by an average of 4.6 points.
Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns for Baltimore, which scored on six of its first seven possessions and recorded two special teams TDs.
"I think confidence is borne of success," coach John Harbaugh said. "When you do things well, it's a positive thing. It doesn't guarantee anything, just like if you're struggling the week before it doesn't guarantee that you can't do something. Every week does stand on its own, but playing well is a good thing. We'd like to build on that."
Baltimore's uncharacteristically poor defense could make it a little easier for Leftwich to settle in. The Ravens rank 27th in the league in yards allowed (390.2), including 26th against the pass (258.2), though their 10 interceptions rank sixth. They could get some help this week with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) expected to return after sitting out against the Raiders.
The Steelers will likely ask less of Leftwich than they do with Roethlisberger, hopeful their rushing attack can bounce back after Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman were held to a combined 77 yards on 27 carries last week. The ground game had at least 140 yards and 4.5 per carry in each of the previous three games.
The defense continues to play well and leads the NFL, allowing 265.7 yards a game. The dominance has mostly come without safety Troy Polamalu (calf), who has only played two games and is doubtful for Sunday. Safety Ryan Clark suffered his second concussion in three games against Kansas City, but Tomlin said he is fine.
Against Pittsburgh's No. 1 pass defense (171.1 yards per game), Baltimore could look to get Ray Rice a little more involved. Rice has 657 rushing yards and 7 TDs on the year but has carried the ball 47 times for 175 yards in the Ravens' last three games.
Baltimore has won 11 straight AFC North games, though its last divisional loss came to Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 2010. The Ravens completed a season sweep of the Steelers last year with a 23-20 victory at Pittsburgh on Flacco's 26-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith with eight seconds to play.
|Last Updated: 8/29/2014 7:21:52 AM EST|