All photos from GoogleImages
Current injuries: Steelers (from Pro-Football-Reference.com)
|Sean Spence||Physically Unable to Perform||knee||is on the physically-unable-to-perform list|
|Maurkice Pouncey||Injured Reserve||knee||is on injured reserve|
|Justin Cheadle||Injured Reserve||hamstring||is on injured reserve|
|Plaxico Burress||Injured Reserve||shoulder||is on injured reserve|
|Larry Foote||Injured Reserve||biceps||is on injured reserve|
|LaRod Stephens-Howling||Injured Reserve||knee||is on injured reserve|
|Nik Embernate||Injured Reserve||knee||is on injured reserve|
|Matt Spaeth||Injured Reserve||foot||is on injured reserve/designated to return|
|Levi Brown||Injured Reserve||triceps||is on injured reserve|
|David Johnson||Out||wrist||is on injured reserve|
|Markus Wheaton||Out||finger||will miss Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
|Richard Gordon||Questionable||toe||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
|Marcus Gilbert||Questionable||quadricep||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
|Jarvis Jones||Questionable||concussion||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
|Brett Keisel||Probable||abdomen||is probable for Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
|LaMarr Woodley||Probable||knee||is probable for Sunday’s game against Baltimore|
For the Steelers Gordon, Jarvis Jones and Marcus Wheaton are OUT. They might miss Jones the most but that doesn’t mean much since Gordon was just added this week and Wheaton hasn’t played much. If Gilbert can’t go it may mean moving Kelvin Beachum to RT and inserting Mike Adams at LT which is BAD, BAD, BAD for the Steelers. Or they could choose to use Guy Whimper at LT which might not be any better. Kiesel with an abdomen injury might make him ineffective which the team cannot sufficiently make up for on the defensive line.
Current injuries: Ravens (from Pro-Football-Reference.com)
|Jameel McClain||Physically Unable to Perform||back||is on the physically-unable-to-perform list|
|D.J. Bryant||Injured Reserve||knee||is on injured reserve|
|Aaron Mellette||Injured Reserve||knee||is on injured reserve|
|Adrian Hamilton||Injured Reserve||wrist||is on injured reserve|
|Dennis Pitta||Injured Reserve||hip||is on injured reserve/designated for return|
|Kapron Lewis-Moore||Out||knee||is on the non-football injury list|
|Terrence Cody||Questionable||knee||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Ryan Jensen||Questionable||foot||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Lardarius Webb||Questionable||thigh||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Haloti Ngata||Questionable||elbow||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Albert McClellan||Questionable||shoulder||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Josh Bynes||Questionable||thigh/finger||is questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Chris L. Canty||Probable||thigh||is probable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Marcus R. Spears||Probable||knee||is probable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
|Brandon Stokley||Probable||thigh||is probable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh|
The big name in the Ravens’ list is Haloti Ngata. If he doesn’t play the Steelers’ less-than-average offensive line really catches a break. Pittsburgh’s C Fernando Velasco has been fairly effective but not even Maurkice Pouncey can consistently neutralize Ngata. It would automatically mean the Steelers’ running game will be more effective, for what that may be worth. Remember, it was Ngata who hit Roethlisberger in the head in the pocket breaking Ben’s nose in the 2010 game in Baltimore (but was not penalized OR fined).
- Establish a running game with at least 75-80 yards.
- Dealeffectively with LBs Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. The Steelers have never really found anyone that can consistently block Suggs.
- Throw to Heath Miller early and often to take advantage of the Ravens’ safeties. No team has every taken Miller out of a game defensively.
- In light of the fact that the Steelers threw so many outside screens against the Jets they need to be mindful of Suggs and Dumervil stepping in from of one of those for an easy INT.
- Get a couple of turnovers on defense or special teams.
- Throw deep early to help lossen-up the Ravens’ DBs who are a little dodgey right now.
- Shut down the Ravens’ running game and minimizing throws to Ray Rice. Jason Worilds in particular must step up his game to do this.
- Protect Roethlisberger. For the Steelers have any chance to make the playoffs Ben needs to be healthy all season. Keeping him clean against the Ravens has been a challenge.
- Take advantage of the Steelers’ LBs in the passing game. They’re not the most mobile group around.
- Minimize turnovers as the Ravens have rarely lost against the Steelers when they didn’t produce turnovers.
- Neutralize Troy Polamalu. Although he’s not playing a the level of say 3 years ago Polamalu is back as a force to be reckoned with and he’s done damage to the Ravens before in ciritcal situations.
- Out-coach Mike Tomlin. Not difficult in my opinion, particularly in-game.
- Maintain the field position advantage. The Steelers’ punter, Zoltan Mesko, has not been effective at all since coming over from the Patriots.