Steelers fans are naturally still talking about Pittsburgh's impressive 25-17 win over the New England Patriots last Sunday. You can bet your bottom dollar though that Mike Tomlin had his team beginning to think about the Baltimore Ravens not long after the final second of Sunday's win ticked off the clock.
At 6-2, the Steelers sit atop the AFC North standings. Were the regular season to end today, Pittsburgh would be the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs. Of course, there are eight more games to go for the Steelers, and nine for those teams that have already had their bye week. So, plenty of work left to do before Steeler Nation can begin to really think about playoff positioning or anything of that nature. The Baltimore Ravens are just one half game behind at 5-2, and having won the first of the two matchups in Week 1, they currently hold the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh. That makes the Week 9 matchup particularly important for the Steelers.
Let's take a look at a few facts, figures and trends for both squads while we eagerly await Sunday's pivotal AFC North clash.
- Seek 6th consecutive win at Heinz Field...Incl. postseason, Pit. has won 5 of past 6 at home vs. Ravens.
- Since Week 5, QB Ben Roethlisberger has NFL-best 11 TD passes. Has AFC-best 108.3 passer rating at home in '11. Incl. playoffs, Roethlisberger has 7-1 record vs. Ravens at home with 15 TDs vs. 6 INTs & 94.1 rating. Aims for 3rd straight game with 300+ passing yards.
- Incl. postseason, RB Rashard Mendenhall has 5 rush TDs in past 5 games vs. Bal.
- WR Mike Wallace had 8 catches for 107 yards (13.4 avg.) in last game vs. Bal.
- WR Antonio Brown had career-best 9 catches last week & has 16 rec. in past 2.
- TE Heath Miller had season-best in catches (7) & rec. yards (85) last week...Defense allows NFL-low in passing yards per game (171.6) this season.
- LB LaMarr Woodley aims for 4th consecutive game with at least 2 sacks. Woodley (48) needs 2 sacks to become 6th player in franchise history with 50 career sacks.
- DE Brett Keisel has 3 sacks in past 3 games.
- Seek 4th straight win vs. AFC North.
- In past 2 vs. Steelers, QB Joe Flacco has completed 34 of 62 passes (54.8 pct.) for 490 yards with 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 102.2 passer rating.
- RB Ray Rice had 107 rush yards with 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in last game vs. Pit. Rice posted career-best 3 rush TDs last week.
- WR Anquan Boldin has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 (132, 145). Boldin (98) needs 2 catches to reach 100 with Ravens. Boldin (8,896) needs 104 rec. yards to reach 9,000 career.
- Ravens allow NFL-low in yards per game (263.3) this season...Defense leads NFL with 9 FRs in '11.
- LB Terrell Suggs (74.5) needs 0.5 sack to reach 75 career.
- LB Paul Kruger had career-best 2 sacks last week & has 3 sacks in past 2.
- S Ed Reed has 12 games with at least 2 INTs, most by any player who began career in SB era.