Sunday, November 18, 2012
Good morning from Pittsburgh
By Jamison Hensley
PITTSBURGH -- This marks the first time in the 17-year history of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry that won't include either Ray Lewis, Hines Ward or Ben Roethlisberger.
Thankfully there's still Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton around to stir things up. Hampton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Ravens have more hate toward the Steelers.
Why is that?
"Probably because we knock them out of the playoffs all the time," Hampton said. "Isn't that what they say? I'd hate us, too."
Here are three keys for Sunday night's game:
Turnovers: Pittsburgh had nine turnovers in its two games against the Ravens last season (matching its total in their nine games this season). It was the most Steelers turnovers against an opponent in a season since 1989 (10 in two games against the Browns), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Ravens have a plus-9 turnover ratio in their seven wins.
Big plays in the passing game: The Steelers are the only team that has yet to allow a touchdown on a throw more than 20 yards downfield this season. Joe Flacco has four touchdowns on such throws, and the most attempts (46) without an interception.
Red zone: The Ravens have been highly efficient in punching the ball into the end zone. Over the past four games, Baltimore has scored 11 touchdowns in 14 trips inside the 20-yard line (78.5 percent). The Steelers defense only ranks 19th in the NFL in the red zone. Pittsburgh has given up 15 touchdowns in 27 drives inside its own 20-yard line (55.6 percent).
Even though I'm covering the Ravens-Steelers game, that doesn't mean the AFC North blog will be quiet for the afternoon games. I will still post wrap-ups for the Browns at the Cowboys and the Bengals at the Chiefs. So check back throughout the day.