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Week 4 Preview: Steelers @ Ravens

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By Maximillian C. Burgos | Staff Writer

In this divisional matchup of week four football on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens will host the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens were absolutely routed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England last week. They will have to bounce back in order to compete with the Steelers, who were beaten by the underdog Chicago Bears last week. This rivalry matchup is always heated and wraps up to be a good game.

Despite the 44-7 loss to the Jaguars last week, the Ravens are still ranked fifth in average points against for the season. The Ravens defense is still one of the toughest in the NFL. The difficulties can be chalked up to jet lag for the Ravens, who seemed unprepared to play in London last week, but the scoreboard was not the Ravens only problem.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley tackling Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley tackling Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (Getty Images)

The Ravens woes are primarily within their passing game. The Ravens are dead last in the NFL for passing yards. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco just does not look good. In three games, he has only thrown for 338 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. The leading receiver for the Ravens, as a result, is tight end Benjamin Watson with 102 yards on the season.

The Ravens are not completely hopeless on offense, though. The Ravens do rank fourth in the NFL right now for rushing yards. Running back Javorius Allen leads the team will 152 yards on 43 carries, but running backs Terrance West and Alex Collins are not far behind with 128 yards and 124 yards respectively. West also has two touchdowns on the year.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco being tackled by a Pittsburgh Steelers player (Getty Images)

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco being tackled by  Pittsburgh Steelers players (Getty Images)

Ravens fans can rest easy though. The Ravens have won four of the last five matchups, where they were the underdogs. The Ravens always play exceptionally well against the Steelers. In 2015, in their first seasonal matchup up, the Ravens held the Steelers to 263 total yards, only 96 of them came from the air.

The Steelers have looked decent this year. They almost dropped a game to the Cleveland Browns to start the season, but a win is a win no matter how ugly. They beat a solid Minnesota Vikings team in week two, but the loss against the Bears last week was painful.

The game last week went into overtime and, even though the Steelers defense is deceptively really good at times, they could not stop the Bears from punching in a score on the ground for the win.

Part of the Steelers problems has been their difficulty running the ball this season so far. On 52 carries, Le’Veon Bell has only accumulated 180 yards and one touchdown. Just one touchdown for one of the NFL’s best running backs in three games, that is not going to win games down the stretch. The Steelers rank among the bottom three in the league in rushing yards after their week three performance.

Though the rushing attack is suffering, the passing game is still being lit up by star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who already has 354 yards on the season with 26 receptions. If the Steelers can get him into space and away from pushing safety Eric Weddle on the Ravens, the Steelers may have some success on Sunday.

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Antonio Brown (Getty Images)

This matchup will also come down to which team will be able to better manage their emotions on the field. This matchup generally generates a lot of hostile emotions and reckless penalties. The last time these two teams saw the same field, they combined for 11 penalties for 140 yards. The time before that, they combined for 23 penalties for 193 yards. Needless to say, the teams will have to keep their emotions in check.

According to covers.com, the experts say that the Ravens are heavily favored 73% to 27% due to the home field advantage and the matchups previous results. The Steelers will definitely play hard, but the Ravens may pull this one out by the end of the day on Sunday.

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