TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Steelers have not enjoyed a good year, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been healthy this year and he is capable of some solid performances. He led the Steelers to an impressive come-from-behind victory in Week 11 against the Lions, and head coach Mike Tomlin will not hesitate to let Roethlisberger carry the team as far as he can.
Winner The Ravens became Joe Flacco’s team last year and he responded with a string of memorable performances that led Baltimore to the Super Bowl title. This year, Flacco has had to take the leadership mantle from the retired Ray Lewis and the departed Ed Reed. It has not worked out as well. The Ravens are missing that ingredient that allows them to pull out key games.
Offense
The Steelers would like to run the ball with rookie Le’Veon Bell, but he has had a difficult time establishing consistency. That puts much more of a burden on the passing game than Tomlin would like. Antonio Brown is a legitimate big-play threat who can stretch the field and make the tough catch. Jerricho Cotchery has become a solid red zone weapon while Heath Miller can make third-down plays.
Winner The Ravens hope that Ray Rice bottomed out earlier this year and that his game is on the upswing. Going into the season, Rice appeared to be a top-three running back, but his poor performances have outnumbered his good ones dramatically. Torrey Smith is a big-play maker who wants the ball with the game on the line, while tight end Dallas Clark is still a hard-nosed competitor.
Defense
Winner The Steelers have a slightly better than average defense from a statistical point of view, but they don’t appear to have enough speed to keep up with fast, decisive offensive attacks. The Steelers get a decent pass rush from LaMarr Woodley, but he can’t do it by himself. The coverage by the secondary has been poor much of the year.
The Ravens still have some talent on defense, but they have not played consistently enough to win games and stay in contention. Terrell Suggs is still a game-changing pass rusher, but the Ravens don’t create enough turnovers. Linebacker Daryl Smith has the athletic ability to make plays all over the field, but the Ravens have few players outside Suggs who can intimidate opponents.
Special Teams
Winner The Steelers do a decent job in their punt and kickoff coverage, while Brown is a legitimate threat to return any punt a long way. Shaun Suisham has proven to be a dependable placekicker, while but Matt McBriar is an ordinary punter.
Winner The Ravens have had solid special teams for years and this season is no different. Their coverage is solid and they can get big plays from speedy Tandon Doss on the punt return and Jacoby Jones on kickoff returns. Justin Tucker is a dependable placekicker with excellent leg strength.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Neither team has been at their best this season, but it may be hard for the Steelers to beat the Ravens on their home field, especially after Pittsburgh won the first meeting between these two rivals at home. The Ravens ride their home field to victory in this game.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it
CBS All Access

Listen Live