BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens and Steelers are set to clash for the first time this season.
The Ravens are coming off two straight losses. They fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 and the Cleveland Browns in Week 4.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of their first victory of the season. The team defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on Monday night to move to 1-3 on the year.
This is the first time in a decade that Joe Flacco won’t be the starting quarterback going up against the Steelers. Instead, it’s Lamar Jackson.
If Jackson and the Ravens are going to snap their losing streak against their arch-rivals, they will need to do three things.
Here are the keys to a Baltimore win in Pittsburgh:
1. Eliminate Big Plays
Over the last two weeks, the Ravens defense has been gashed by big plays. In Week 3 it was Patrick Mahomes, and in Week 3, Baker Mayfield. In those past two games, the Ravens defense has surrendered 1,033 total yards. Against the Chiefs, the Ravens couldn’t stop Mahomes who threw for three touchdowns. Against the Browns, the Ravens couldn’t stop Nick Chubb who rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns. If the Ravens are going to come away victorious this week, they need to eliminate the big plays defensively.
2. Smashmouth Football
When the Ravens battle the Steelers, it’s always a physical contest. The Ravens need to establish the run early in the game and stick with it. Last week against the Browns, running back Mark Ingram II carried the ball just 12 times. The Ravens need to continue to feed Ingram the ball and stick with the running game to come out with a win in Pittsburgh.
3. Calling On Lamar Jackson
As the quality of his opponents has increased, his play has decreased. Jackson started the year thrashing the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals defenses. However, in the last two weeks against tougher opponents, Jackson hasn’t looked as good. Jackson went just 22-of-43 against the Chiefs, and last week against the Browns, he threw two interceptions. Jackson has made it known that he wants to be a force in this league. That all starts with stepping things up against quality opponents.