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. NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: (FILES)This undated file photo shows US baseball star Jackie Robinson as he signs a then-record contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in New York. Robinson has been chosen to receive posthumously the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award Congress can bestow on a US civilian, 02 March 2005, for his accomplishments on the baseball diamond, as well as "his lifetime of breaking down barriers and his unending fight for justice," officials on Capitol Hill said in an earlier press release. US Senator John Kerry and US Representative Richard Neal, who co-sponsored legislation honoring Robinson, will be joined by the ballplayer's widow Rachel Robinson, US President George W. Bush and congressional leaders at the ceremony. Robinson broke baseball's "color line", becoming the first African American to play in the Major Leagues when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Officials in Congress said however that he is also being honored for his contributions to the broader struggle for civil rights. (Photo Credit: Mike Powell/Getty Images)
    Best Two-Sport Athletes Of All Time

    With Tim Tebow getting a baseball deal, Starkey and Mueller drafted the best two-sport athletes of all time.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  3. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La\'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network
Learn How

Listen Live