It is Steelers week, volume two and this time the Baltimore Ravens will host the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens will have a chance to clinch the AFC North division title with a win and a Cincinnati Bengals loss with an astonishing four games remaining. As in any game, there are some key matchups to watch for, and this game is no different.
- Torrey Smith vs Ike Taylor – Taylor and the Steelers' secondary absolutely shut down Smith in their week 11 matchup, holding Smith to just one catch for seven yards. Smith has been outstanding at home, and put up 144 receiving yards last week against the San Diego Chargers, so Smith's ability to get open will be a huge factor in the Ravens passing game.
- Anquan Boldin vs Steelers secondary – On the flip side, Boldin could be set up to have a big day receiving with so much focus from the Steelers defense to stop Torrey Smith. Boldin reeled in eight catches for 79 yards against Pittsburgh in week 11 and was the only offensive player to show up. Boldin will see a lot of one on one coverage and should be a huge factor in this football game.
- Baltimore's home offense vs Pittsburgh's road defense – The Ravens offense leads the league averaging 36.8 points per game at home, but will be up against the number one ranked defense in the NFL, that will have Troy Polamalu returning as well. The Steelers defense is fifth in the league allowing just 15.3 points per game, but on the road their defense allows 24.7 points per game, so the home field advantage for the Ravens gets that much bigger.
- Ravens pass rushers vs Kevin Beachum – Pittsburgh rookie right tackle Mike Adams has been ruled out for tomorrow's game, and another rookie (7th round pick) Kevin Beachum will be starting in Adams place which should give the Ravens pass rush a great opportunity to get to Charlie Batch and force a couple turnovers.
- Ray Rice vs Steelers rush defense – In their week 11 matchup, Pittsburgh completely shut down Rice as he carried the ball 20 times for just 40 yards. Rice is a key component of the Ravens offense and he will need to have a better day tomorrow for the Ravens pass offense to be effective.
- Ravens rush defense vs Steelers running game – The only offensive weapon the Steelers will have tomorrow will be their running game as they have Batch starting at quarterback, who can't throw the football farther than 25 yards. If the Baltimore defense can force 3rd and longs, it will be a long day for the Pittsburgh offense.
Pittsburgh comes into the game having lost their last two and holding onto the last playoff spot in the AFC, while Baltimore is riding a four game winning streak and attempting to lock up the division. Steelers vs Ravens, it doesn't get much better than this.
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