Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

The numerical matchup between the Steelers and Ravens in Week 5

Ahead of each Steelers game, I take the time on my Steelers Stat Geek podcast to break down the team rankings in six of the most key statistics for both the Steelers offense and defense as well as their opponent. Since early in the season the NFL rankings can be misleading based on a small sample size. I waited until at least three games have occurred before I even began to look at these rankings as a starting point. Being four games into the season now, things are becoming a little more clear as a single-game outlier carries less weight.

What are the Steelers opponent greatest strengths on offense? What is the biggest weakness on defense? Where did the Steelers match up well versus where they might struggle? These are some of the things that can be determined based on these numbers.

So without further ado, here are the stats and rankings for the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of their Week 5 matchup.

Note: Yards and points are given as an average per game while sacks and turnovers are totals for the season.

Ravens Offense:

Yards: 335.0 (13th)
Points: 24.75 (12th)
Rushing Yards: 151.25 (4th)
Passing Yards: 183.75 (26th)
Sacks surrendered: 11 (t-17th)
Turnovers: 5 (t-13th)

Steelers Offense:

Yards: 263.0 (29th)
Points: 15.5 (27th)
Rushing Yards: 78.75 (29th)
Passing Yards: 184.25 (25th)
Sacks surrendered: 11 (t-17th)
Turnovers: 5 (t-13th)

Looking strictly at the offense, the Ravens land in the middle of the NFL overall simply because of their great run offense which often requires them to not have to throw as often. For this reason, the Steelers are actually ranked one spot ahead of the Ravens in passing offense which is actually the top spot in the AFC North as the Browns are ranked 27th and the Bengals are ranked 29th. But looking at the entire NFL, this is definitely not something to brag about. When it comes to avoiding splash plays such as sacks and turnovers, the two teams are tied in both categories through four games.

Ravens Defense

Yards: 260.75 (3rd)
Points: 14.5 (3rd)
Rushing Yards: 92.5 (7th)
Passing Yards: 168.25 (3rd)
Sacks: 15 (4th)
Takeaways: 5 (t-12th)

Steelers Defense

Yards: 403.0 (30th)
Points: 25.0 (23rd)
Rushing Yards: 148.5 (29th)
Passing Yards: 254.5 (26th)
Sacks: 13 (t-7th)
Takeaways: 8 (t-5th)

When looking at the various defensive yardage statistics, the ravens are simply in another league. When the Ravens worst ranking is the run defense which is 7th and the Steelers best ranking being their pass defense which is 26th, this seems like a one-sided matchup. And even though the Steelers are toward the top of the NFL in sacks, the Ravens come in even higher. The only place where the Steelers hold the advantage is their ability to take the ball away which may be a huge difference in this game.

Key Matchups

When it comes to points scored versus points surrendered, the matchups against each other come out almost identical. Based on the numbers, the Ravens should score right around what the Steelers typically give up which would be 25 points where the Steelers should score right around what the Ravens typically surrender which is 15 points. But when is the last time the numbers played out perfectly in any game, let alone one in the AFC North? Going into the game, the numbers say that the Steelers have a bad offense and a bad defense which is going up against the Ravens average offense and great defense. We’ll have to tune in on Sunday to see if things go by the numbers of not.

For more on these matchups, check out the most recent episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast below:

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