Keys to victory for the Steelers over the Ravens in Week 5
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a losing performance in Week 4, a 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans, and while it was the team’s second loss, it was a performance which has plummeted fan hopes. The hope is there is a better performance on the horizon on Sunday in Week 5 when the team hosts the Baltimore Ravens.
What exactly do the Steelers need to do to claim their third victory of 2023? Let’s break it down by offense and defense…
Creativity, not predictability
This isn’t new, and it certainly is a struggle for the Steelers this season, but if they are going to bust out of their funk they can’t just rely on what they always do as the way to get back on track. Instead, being creative, not crazy, is the way to potentially get the offense back on track. Perfect example would be Darnell Washington. With Pat Freiermuth out of the game, you can expect a heavy dose of Connor Heyward, but using Washington will only add another level/dimension to the offense. A few play-action passes to Washington down the seam could be just what the doctor ordered. Just don’t be predictable.
Utilize your weapons
The Steelers do have weapons on the offense, but the concern is are they being utilized to the best of their ability? That’s been the issue for most of the regular season. It’s time to get Najee Harris going with the runs which he has the most success with, and the same can be said with George Pickens on his route tree. Let them thrive and watch the offense as a whole follow suit.
Cash in when it matters most
3rd downs remain a huge issue with the Steelers, and right now that is the biggest concern on game day. Sure, some will want to talk about the red-zone, but you have to get to the red-zone before you have to talk about cashing in. If the Steelers are lucky enough to get into the red-zone, that is when they need to put up touchdowns, and not Chris Boswell field goals.
Force Lamar into obvious passing situations
Want to watch Lamar Jackson have a field day? Simple, allow the Ravens to get themselves into manageable down and distances. That is when the dual threat quarterback can do serious damage. If the Steelers plan on wrecking those plans, they have to start by forcing the Ravens offense into obvious passing situations, 3rd and long, on a regular basis.
Don’t allow balance to set in
Stopping the run is always a key to victory, but with the Ravens and their running attack it is paramount. When the Ravens can both run and pass with ease, just like most NFL offenses, that is when they do the most damage. The Steelers have to take something away, and as Dick LeBeau would say…it should always start with stopping the run.
Take the ball away
The Steelers weren’t able to create a turnover vs. the Houston Texans last week, and it has become an increasingly important statistic. When the Steelers are on the wrong side of the turnover battle, they lose. Therefore, creating those takeaways will be a very important statistic to watch on Sunday when the Ravens come to town. The Ravens have turned the ball over 5 times this season, and that trend will hopefully continue at Acrisure Stadium.
I talk about this, and MUCH more on the Friday episode of “Let’s Ride”, and you can hear that podcast in the player below this article. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they gear up for game time!