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5 Keys to Victory for Steelers against Ravens



Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) +4 @ Baltimore Ravens (5-1)


Time and place: 1 p.m. EST at M&T Bank Stadium


Tidbit: This will be the first time quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Lamar Jackson suit up against each other.


KEY #1: Stay in your lane


Clearly, the Ravens offense is built around the threat of Lamar Jackson running the football. Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman does a great job of putting defenders into positions of conflict, forcing them to make split decisions as Jackson and the running game cuts their way up the field.


Jackson's speed sets the tone for the entire offense. You can't allow him to get the edge because he's the fastest player on the field. On this first down, Eagles defender Brandon Graham bites on the option fake to running back Gus Edwards and Jackson takes off for an easy 9 yards.

Two plays later, the Ravens run a similar concept except they give the ball to Edwards. The Eagles defense, including number 23 Rodney McLeod, become so concerned with stopping Jackson that they give Edwards a clean path to the end zone.

Even with the league's toughest run defense, it's likely that Jackson will pop off a few impressive runs. The key is to limit these plays by maintaining gap integrity without over-pursuit on options and play action. It may seem counterintuitive based on Jackson's speed, but calculated patience is necessary when playing against the Ravens.


KEY #2: Force Jackson to play fast in the passing game


Pittsburgh's greatest strength defensively should have a chance to thrive in this game. When it comes to passing, the best way to stop Jackson is to get pressure and make him play quickly and with precision.


Here's Lamar rushing a throw because of the blitz and missing a receiver who got a good release in man coverage.

The Steelers stand a good chance of slowing Lamar down if they can get in his face. On this play, he makes a risky throw in coverage after dropping his eyes due to interior pressure.

KEY #3: Don't turn the ball over


Quite frankly, the Steelers were lucky to escape Tennessee with a win despite being -3 in the turnover battle as well as putting the ball on the carp